Committed to Excellence

Delivering multidisciplinary, team-based health care that meets your individual needs

Reviewed by: Carlos Mery, MD, MPH
Video by: Emily Kinsolving and Alyssa Martin
Written by: Ashley Lawrence

Excellence in care begins with providing you and your family the opportunity to experience a healthy, happy life. UT Health Austin pediatric congenital heart surgeon Carlos Mery, MD, MPH, serves as the Associate Chief of Pediatric and Congenital Cardiothoracic Surgery for the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease, a clinical partnership between Dell Children’s and UT Health Austin. By delivering multidisciplinary, team-based care that meets your child’s individual needs, Dr. Mery ensures patients and their families receive the highest level of specialized care and experience a seamless transition from pediatric to adult congenital cardiac care.

Carlos M. Mery, MD, in the operating room.

“When people think about congenital heart disease, everyone thinks about the surgeon, but the surgeon is just one part of an entire ecosystem that has to exist in order to provide the best care for the patient,” says Dr. Mery.

“I tell patients and their families to look beyond the surgeon and at whether every element of the program is able to provide the best possible care. Excellence in care means surrounding the patient with the highest level of expertise across all facets of their care.”

The Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease was established in September 2018 and has grown to include multiple specialties as well as a team of over 200 clinicians and other support staff. In just a few short years, the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease has achieved several major milestones and celebrated monumental firsts that have significantly impacted the lives of patients and their families.

“From a patient’s diagnosis, there are several care team members involved,” explains Dr. Mery. “In addition to cardiologists, there are anesthesiologists, perfusionists, nurses, and more taking care of the patient in the operating room as well as the intensivists, advanced practice providers, nurses, social workers, and more taking care of the patient outside of the operating room. We’ve even integrated a psychosocial team completely into the fabric of our program. In our field, it’s vital that all of these areas of care are excellent to ensure the care of the patient is optimal.”

In addition to his role as the Associate Chief of Pediatric and Congenital Cardiothoracic Surgery for the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease, Dr. Mery also serves as the Surgical Director of the Coronary Anomalies Program, Heart Failure, VAD, and Transplant Program, and Single Ventricle Program. Dr. Mery was nominated by his peers as one of eleven Dell Med Visionaries changing the face of academic medicine in Austin.

Carlos M. Mery, MD, smiling at a girl in pigtails.

“I always knew I wanted to do something where I could help people,” shares Dr. Mery. “I gravitated toward the surgical field because I knew I would be able to make a direct impact on patients’ lives in a way that would improve their quality of life for decades to come.”

“At the same time, that ability to change anatomy and physiology also comes with a lot of responsibility. It’s that sense of accountability that fuels me and makes me strive for excellence.”

Dr. Mery is an associate professor in both the Dell Medical School Department of Pediatrics and the Dell Medical School Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care, where he provides education and training for the next generation of pediatric and adult congenital heart surgeons.

“Having learners in the clinic is an asset because they are always challenging the status quo,” shares Dr. Mery. “They want to understand why you’re doing the things that you’re doing and are always looking for ways to advance the field. This drive for constant improvement is what excellence is all about.”

In collaboration with the Value Institute for Health and Care, a joint initiative between the Dell Medical School and the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Mery leads qualitative research that analyzes the lifelong journey of patients with congenital heart disease to help identify and address the gaps in care that a patient may experience during their lifetime while also assessing which outcomes are most meaningful to patients and their families. He also has a particular interest in the areas of single ventricle heart disease and coronary anomalies.

“We’re capitalizing on the fact that we’re a part of an amazing university with incredible resources and a robust infrastructure for collaboration,” explains Dr. Mery. “Academic medicine is unique because of the model’s three-way mission that combines clinical care, research, and education. When all three components come together, not only are we able to improve care for our patients and community, but we are also able to move our field as a whole forward through research and training the next generation of providers that will be caring for those patients in the long-term.”

About the Partnership Between UT Health Austin and Dell Children’s Medical Center

The collaboration between UT Health Austin and Dell Children’s Medical Center brings together medical professionals, medical school learners, and researchers who are all part of the integrated mission of transforming healthcare delivery and redesigning the academic health environment to better serve society. This collaboration allows highly specialized providers who are at the forefront of the latest research, diagnostic, and technological developments to build an integrated system of care that is a collaborative resource for clinicians and their patients.

About UT Health Austin

UT Health Austin is the clinical practice of the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. We collaborate with our colleagues at the Dell Medical School and The University of Texas at Austin to utilize the latest research, diagnostic, and treatment techniques, allowing us to provide patients with an unparalleled quality of care. Our experienced healthcare professionals deliver personalized, whole-person care of uncompromising quality and treat each patient as an individual with unique circumstances, priorities, and beliefs. Working directly with you, your care team creates an individualized care plan to help you reach the goals that matter most to you — in the care room and beyond. For more information, call us at 1-833-UT-CARES or request an appointment here.