Medical Advisory Council

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Our medical advisory council is comprised of cardiac specialists with extensive experience both in patient care and teaching.

Additionally, several members have noteworthy expertise in developing open heart surgery programs for children and adults, both in the U.S. and abroad. The Council is rounded out by Heart to Heart's medical statisticians and our executive director.

Every member of the Council is a bona fide Heart to Heartnik, a veteran of multiple surgical-educational missions to our sponsored sites in the Russian Federation and Latin America.

Collectively, these dedicated volunteers have participated on more than 150 teaching trips for Heart to Heart.

In addition to monitoring progress toward self-sustainability at each of our sponsored sites, the medical advisory council continually evaluates Heart to Heart's progress on our ambitious strategic effort, the Into the Heartland Campaign (2002–2019) and our Going Global Initiative.

 

Albina Popova*
Program Manager
Heart to Heart

Gary Raff MD
Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon
UC Davis Medical Center

Janet Simsic MD
Medical Director of Cardiothoracic ICU
Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Nathan Taggart MD*
Pediatric Cardiologist
Mayo Clinic

David Teitel MD
Pediatric Cardiologist
UC San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital

Elizabeth Wilson MD
Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiologist
Emory University Hospital/CHOA

Nilas Young MD, Founder & Medical Director
Chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery
UC Davis Medical Center


 

Frank Cetta MD, Board President
Adult and Pediatric Cardiologist
Mayo Clinic

Mark Cocalis MD
Pediatric Cardiologist
UC San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital

Josie Everett *†
Executive Director
Heart to Heart

George Falkowski MD*
Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon
Shaare Zedek Medical Center

Keith Flachsbart MD, Board Member
Chief Emeritus, CV Surgery
Kaiser Permanente San Francisco

Maryanne Kessel RN, MBA
Executive Director of Development
Herma Heart Center
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Bert Litwin MD
Chief Emeritus, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery
Herma Heart Center
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Natalia Lusin PhD*, Statistician & Interpreter
Associate Director of Program and Head of Research
Modern Language Association

*fluent speaker of Russian

† fluent speaker of Spanish