Our Medical Advisory Board

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Kathy Jenkins, MD, MPH

Kathy is a cardiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, in Boston, MA. She is also the Executive Director of the Center for Applied Pediatric Quality Analytics (CAPQA) and Administrative Support for the CAPQA Leadership Team.

Disty Pearson – Board Liaison and Vice-Chair

Disty Pearson is a retired physician assistant who worked at the Boston Adult Congenital Heart Service (BACH) for over 20 years. She was a founding member of the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) Medical Advisory Board and was Chair of the Global Health Working Group of the International Society of Congenital Heart Disease (ISCHD), promoting ACHD care globally. Also, Disty is the parent of a CHD patient.

Board Members

Jack Colman, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Colman is a Professor of Medicine and of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Toronto and Cardiologist and past Director of the Toronto ACHD Program, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network. He has also been the president of the International Society for Adult Congenital Heart Disease, and Medical Advisory Board member of the Canadian Marfan Association (now GADA), Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance, and the Adult Congenital Heart Association.

Sandra da Silva Mattos, MD, PhD

Dr. Mattos is currently the Medical Director of the Maternal-Fetal Cardiac Unit of the Royal Portuguese Hospital, President of The Heart Circle (CirCor), Director of Caduceus, and a researcher with the Keiso Asami Immunopathology Laboratory (LIKA) – UFPE. She received her medical degree from the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil, specialty cardiology training at the Royal Royal Brompton and Great Ormond Street Hospitals in the UK, and a PhD in biotechnology from the Federal University of Pernambuco. She is actively involved with the tele-auscultation – Multicope project at the University of Porto, Portugal, Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (ODDS) project at the Federal University of Pernambuco, and the Pediatric Cardiology Network, The Heart Circle, in Brazil.

Christopher Hugo Hamman, MD

Dr. Hugo-Hamman is a pediatric cardiologist in Cape Town, South Africa, and Principal Officer at the Namibian Children’s Heart Foundation.

Babar S. Hasan, MD

Dr. Hasan is a pediatric cardiologist trained at Boston Children’s Hospital, and currently is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at The Aga Khan University (AKU) in Pakistan. He is also the Chief, Children Hospital Service line at the AKU Hospital. His areas of interest is quality outcomes in LMIC of congenital heart disease patients and use of precision analytics in LMIC.

RK Kumar, MD

Dr. Kumar is a Clinical Professor and Head of Pediatric Cardiology at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre in Cochin, India.

Matt Oster, MD, MPH

To come…

Alexis Palacios-Macedo, MD

Dr. Palacios-Macedo is Chief of Congenital Heart Surgery at the Instituto Nacional de Pediatría (INP) and Medical Coordinator of the ABC Medical Center/Kardias Congenital Heart Surgery Program in Mexico City. He is co-founder of the Kardias Foundation and serves as medical director. He obtained his medical degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and residency in Internal Medicine and General Surgery at the National Institute of Medical Sciences, in Mexico City.

Fenny Fiindje Shidhika, MD

Dr. Shidhika is a Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist and Head of Department, Ministry of Health and Social Services, in Windhoek, Namibia.  She received her medical degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, followed by a Pediatric Fellowship and Cardiology Fellowship from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She also received a Master of Philosophy (MPhil.) in Pediatric Cardiology and is completing an Executive MSc. in Health Economics, Outcomes and Management in Cardiovascular Sciences, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK. Dr. Shidhika is a Founder and Trustee of the Namibia National Children Hearts Trust, an active academic writer, reviewer, and presenter, and is a member of numerous medical and non-profit associations and organizations.

Sivakumar Sivalingam, MBBS, MMed(Surg), FRCSE, FRCSI, FRCS(CTh)

Dr. Sivalingam is a Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgeon at the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Dominique Vervoort, MD, MPH, MBA

Dominique is a PhD Candidate and Vanier Scholar at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation and the Division of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Toronto. He is Founding President of the Global Cardiac Surgery Initiative, a World Heart Federation Emerging Leader, and Advisor to the Global Surgery Foundation. His research foci include global access to cardiac surgical care, health economics, decision analysis, and cardiac surgical clinical trials. Dominique has published over 200 peer-reviewed publications and serves on the Editorial Board for multiple leading cardiac surgery and cardiology journals.

Liesl Zühlke, MBChB, DCH, FCPaeds, Cert Card, MPH, FESC, FACC, PhD

A pediatric cardiologist in the Dept. of Pediatric Cardiology at RXH, Dr. Zühlke worked as the clinical co-coordinator of the ASAP programme, managing several large-scale RHD projects in South Africa and on the African continent. She directs the Children’s Heart Disease Research Unit, is a collaborator with the Institute of Health Metrics, and is co-author on several Global Burden of Disease publications. She is involved in research projects spanning CHD and RHD, HIV in adolescents, and cardiac disease in women of childbearing age. She has leveraged funding for several major research projects in Africa, with new collaborations internationally. Most recently, she was awarded the prestigious MRC/Dfid African Research Leadership Award.

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