In this section
Adult congenital heart disease program
Congenital heart defects are those that are present at birth. One in 100 babies born in the United States each year has a heart defect of some kind. As these babies become adults, they often need continued care for conditions corrected early in life. Sometimes, symptoms of congenital heart disease (such as abnormal heart rhythms, shortness of breath, dizziness, or swelling) may not appear and need care until later in life.
Learn more about congenital heart disease.
One of the leading programs in the nation for adult congenital heart disease
More and more, people born with congenital heart defects live long into adulthood. If you're part of this growing population, it's good to know the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program (ACHD Program) offered by Children's Wisconsin is one of the leading programs in the nation and the largest in the state of Wisconsin. We are part of Herma Heart Institute at Children's Wisconsin and work in conjunction with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin to offer the specialized expertise you need to live life to the fullest. Our program is an ACHA ACHD Accredited Comprehensive Care Center, recognizing us as a leader in Adult Congenital Heart Disease care and management.
Video: Meet Dr. Bartz and learn about our program
Uniquely qualified specialists
Our team of experts includes Peter Bartz, MD, Matthew Buelow, MD, Scott Cohen, MD, Jennifer Gerardin, MD and Salil Ginde, MD — the largest care team in the state formally trained to care for adults with congenital heart disease. Drs. Bartz, Buelow, Cohen, Gerardin and Ginde also see patients at Froedtert & the Medical College. Their advanced training in both pediatric and adult cardiology makes them exceptionally qualified to provide complete care as patients transition from adolescence to adulthood. The team has been awarded highly competitive research grants and published nearly 50 Adult Congenital Heart Disease articles in the last decade.
Our program is accredited as an Adult Congenital Heart Association ACHD Comprehensive Care Center, demonstrating our ability to meet the highest standards of care. Our patient volumes continue to increase as our reputation for quality care expands nationally.
Convenient hours and ACHD clinic locations
In addition to Milwaukee, our adult congenital heart disease specialists have clinics in other locations throughout the state and in Upper Michigan. Patients can schedule initial assessments and follow-up care at these convenient locations. Evening appointments are available in some locations.
Care that spans the spectrum of needs
Many congenital heart disease conditions and genetic heart disorders can have serious cardiac and non-cardiac complications for adults, including:
- Coarctation of the aorta
- Congenital valve defects
- Dilated aorta
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)
- Marfan syndrome and other connective tissue disorders
- Patent foramen ovale (PFO)
- Pulmonary atresia
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Transposition of the great arteries (vessels)
These and other congenital heart defects can impact physical activity, pregnancy, and other aspects of life as an adult.
Through our partnership with Froedtert & The Medical College, we offer all the inpatient and outpatient services adults with congestive heart defects may need. This includes:
- Medication management
- Care for related pulmonary hypertension
- Cardiac catheterization procedures
Our Marfan Syndrome Program is the largest in the state and recognized nationally for its expert care for adults with this rare genetic heart disorder.
Having met the highest standards for caring for adults with congenital heart disease, our Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program is one of just 14 programs in the country and the only one in the state accredited as an ACHA ACHD Accredited Comprehensive Care Center, the highest designation possible.
Meet Jenni: a 37-year-old woman who had corrective heart surgery when she was a child. After years of not seeing a cardiologist, doctors in our Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program said she was a heart attack waiting to happen. Read the story of how Jenni dodged death.