The first successful heart transplant in Florida was performed at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center in 1986. Since then, surgeons at the UM/Jackson’s Miami Transplant Institute have been performing 30 to 40 heart transplants each year in adults as well as children.

The mission of the multidisciplinary team of specialists at the Children’s Heart Center is to provide the best care for patients with heart failure due to congenital heart defects or acquired heart problems (cardiomyopathy). Using the most advanced and intensive medical therapies, our pediatric cardiologists have been able to delay or even avoid heart transplantation in a growing number of children referred for transplant evaluation.

For those children with end stage heart failure, uncorrectable heart defects, or uncontrollable heart arrhythmias, heart transplantation is one treatment option. Working hand-in-hand with the Miami Transplant Institute, the Children’s Heart Center at Holtz Children’s Hospital is the only university based pediatric heart transplant program in South Florida. It is the only center able to provide mechanical circulatory support to children as a bridge to heart transplantation when necessary. Our program offers the full spectrum of care for patients with heart failure including:

  • State-of-the-art medical management of congestive heart failure
  • Pediatric cardiac transplantation

In addition, we offer the option of temporary and permanent mechanical support, using ECMO and and increasing variety of devices such as Heart Mate and Abiomed systems.

Over the last several years, survival rates for children undergoing heart transplantation in our program have exceeded national averages. The Miami Transplant Institute and Holtz Children’s Hospital have a fully dedicated, integrated pediatric heart transplant program able to offer the most comprehensive and state-of-the-art care to children with cardiomyopathy or congenital heart disease, and to adults with end-stage heart failure resulting from any type of congenital heart defect.

The pediatric heart transplant team involves a large number of dedicated specialists including pediatric cardiac surgeons, pediatric heart transplant cardiologists, heart failure specialists, pediatric transplant and heart failure nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers, nutritionists, immunologists, pulmonologists, psychologists, and others. The Miami Transplant Institute is one of the largest and most comprehensive transplant institutions in the world, capable of providing the most sophisticated and state-of-the-art care in the field of adult and pediatric transplantation.

Children’s Heart Center cardiologists and surgeons work in conjunction with members of the liver and kidney transplant programs at Miami Transplant Institute/Holtz Children’s Hospital to perform combined liver and heart transplant or heart transplant and kidney transplant operations.

Heart Failure and Transplantation Team

Paolo Rusconi, MD
Medical Director of Pediatric Heart Transplant and Cardic Failure
Medical School: University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
Residency: Riley Children’s Hospital, Indianapolis, IN
Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship: Holtz Children’s Hospital/University of Miami Miller School Medicine, Miami, FL

Eliot Rosenkranz, M.D.
Medical School: University of California, San Diego, CA
Residency: University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship: Great Ormond Street Hospital of Children, London, UK

Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners:

  • Theresa Bueno, ARNP
  • Mary Cousins, ARNP
  • Barbara Sears, ARNP
  • Valrie Reid, ARNP