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World-renowned heart surgeon to join Children’s and MCW

March 14, 2016

MILWAUKEE – Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the Medical College of Wisconsin have recruited Viktor Hraska, M.D., Ph.D., a world-renowned surgeon and researcher to further the organizations’ pediatric cardiac expertise.

Dr. Hraska will join cardiothoracic surgeons Michael Mitchell, M.D., and Ronald Woods, M.D., Ph.D., in leading Children’s Herma Heart Center, the fifth ranked pediatric heart program in the nation. Yearly, Children’s performs more than 300 open heart surgeries and 700 total heart procedures and has some of the best outcomes for pediatric heart surgeries in the country. Dr. Hraska will serve as Herma’s surgical director and hold the position of medical director of Cardiothoracic Surgery. World-renowned Hraska joins Children's Herma Heart Center

At the Medical College of Wisconsin, Dr. Harska will be the division chief of Congenital Heart Surgery and a professor of surgery. He will join 10 other surgeons in providing a six-year integrated cardiothoracic surgery training program. MCW is one of the first in the country to offer an integrated program that provides a more streamlined approach than tradition surgery curriculums.

An internationally recognized pediatric cardiovascular surgeon who brings vast clinical, teaching and research expertise to his new roles, Dr. Hraska was identified through an extensive worldwide search of top pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons. He is expected to start at the two organizations in August.

Dr. Hraska currently serves as surgeon-in-chief for the German Pediatric Heart Center in Sankt Augustin, Germany, which is the largest congenital heart disease surgery center with the best published surgical outcomes in Germany. He is also the congenital heart disease chair of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, an organization dedicated to raising standards for operative outcomes through research and training in Europe.

“The Herma Heart Center team has led groundbreaking work that has produced some of the best outcomes in the world for pediatric heart surgery,” said Peggy Troy, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “With Dr. Hraska’s talents and leadership added to those of our entire Herma Heart Center team, Children’s will continue to provide cutting-edge and sought-after procedures that few hospitals in the country can.”

Hraska trained in Czechoslovakia, Slovakia and Germany and at Boston Children’s Hospital, completing residencies in anesthesia, cardiology, surgery and vascular surgery, and fellowships in cardiac surgery and pediatric cardiac surgery. He regularly lectures worldwide on pediatric cardiac surgery topics, and he has published books, book chapters and articles.

“We are extremely pleased that a world-renowned pediatric cardiovascular surgeon, researcher and educator such as Dr. Hraska is joining our outstanding team at MCW,” said Dr. Joseph E. Kerschner, MD, dean of the school of medicine and executive vice president of MCW. “His indisputable talents and expertise will accentuate the excellence that defines our top-tier national pediatric cardiovascular program.”

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