Pediatric Heart Program is on the Move

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Pediatric Heart Program is on the Move

Savannah sitting on a bench

Meet Savannah in Words and Pictures

Nicole and Tye McCoy of Merrill, Wisconsin had just become parents of a darling little baby, Savannah, when they quickly learned that their daughter's heart was not quite right.

Born in May 2008, Savannah was diagnosed with a ventricular septal defect (VSD), or a hole between the lower chambers of her heart. In many instances, holes such as Savannah's close on their own, but because hers did not, Savannah underwent open heart surgery in January 2010 when she was 19 months old.

The McCoys are just one of a growing number of families whose experience with the Pediatric Heart Program at American Family Children's Hospital is nothing less than exceptional.

"Our families have been very satisfied," says J. Carter Ralphe, MD, chief of Pediatric Cardiology at American Family Children's Hospital. "We have a very strong team with five excellent pediatric cardiologists, two physician assistants, five nurse practitioners and clinical nursing staff. Child Life staff and social workers also make a very positive contribution to the experience of our patients and families."

A special enhancement to the American Family Children's Hospital experience is the building itself-a breathtaking, world-class facility that opened in 2007 with all of the latest amenities.

"This is a beautiful, kid-oriented children's hospital," says Nicole McCoy. "I would definitely recommend this hospital to any other family that wants the best for their son or daughter."

Cassandra Foote of Van Dyne, Wisconsin, remembers the effort that went into comforting both her and her son Colton during Colton's open heart surgery in September 2009.

"They did so much to make Colton comfortable, but also made sure I was doing alright. It really took a lot of weight off of my shoulders so I could focus my energy on Colton," she said.

Making visits even more convenient for families, UW Health pediatric cardiologists see patients not only at American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, but also at seven outreach locations around the state: Appleton, Beloit, Fond du Lac, Janesville, Oshkosh, Watertown and Wausau.