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Children’s receives national accreditation based on success of treating pulmonary hypertension

February 09, 2016

MILWAUKEE - The Pulmonary Hypertension Program in the Herma Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is only the fourth pediatric center in the country, and the only hospital in Wisconsin, to be accredited by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association with its highest designation as a Center of Comprehensive Care. The accreditation recognizes programs with track records of improving the outcomes of patients with pulmonary hypertension, a debilitating disease of the lungs that affects the functioning of the heart and can lead to right heart failure.

“This recognition illustrates the broad depth of care our patients in the Herma Heart Center receive, “ said Edward Kirkpatrick, D.O., a pediatric cardiologist and director of the Pulmonary Hypertension Program at Children’s. “Our leading-edge, diagnostic expertise and treatment options help pediatric patients of all ages with pulmonary hypertension live life to the fullest.”

Pulmonary hypertension is characterized by increased pressure in the blood vessels of the lungs that makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood into the lungs and can lead to death from heart failure. With symptoms that include breathlessness, fatigue, dizziness and chest pain, many patients with pulmonary hypertension will see three or more physicians before receiving an accurate diagnosis. The survival rate for patients with untreated pulmonary hypertension is less than three years.

Center of Comprehensive Care designation is awarded to programs that demonstrate a dedication to making a proper diagnosis and have the capacity to appropriately and comprehensively manage pulmonary hypertension patients based on criteria established by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. Accredited Care Centers contribute to the association’s national patient registry that tracks diagnostic and treatment patterns and patient outcomes, and helps establish best practices in patient care.

About the Herma Heart Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin
The Herma Heart Center is the largest pediatric cardiac care center in Wisconsin and is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the fifth ranked pediatric cardiology and heart surgery program in the nation. Children’s survival rates are among the country’s best and have earned the program a three-star rating (the highest possible) by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, distinguishing it among the country’s top 5 percent of programs and as Wisconsin’s only rated program. The program is among the highest volume congenital heart surgery program in the county, performing more than 300 open-heart surgeries and more than 700 total heart procedures a year.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is the region’s only independent health care system dedicated solely to the health and well-being of children. The hospital, with locations in Milwaukee and Neenah, Wisconsin, is recognized as one of the leading pediatric health care centers in the United States. It is ranked in nine specialty areas in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015-16 Best Children’s Hospitals report. Children’s provides primary care, specialty care, urgent care, emergency care, community health services, foster and adoption services, child and family counseling, child advocacy services and family resource centers. In 2014, Children’s invested more than $102 million in the community to improve the health status of children through medical care, advocacy, education and pediatric medical research. Children’s achieves its mission in part through donations from individuals, corporations and foundations and is proud to be a member of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. For more information, visit the website at

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