Leaders in Cardiac Care Join the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease
Three leading pediatric cardiologists join UT Health Austin in an important milestone for growing the care team at the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease
Reviewed by: Hitesh Agrawal, MD, MBA, FSCAI, Chesney Castleberry, MD, Charles Fraser, Jr., MD, and D. Byron Holt, MD, FSCAI
UT Health Austin and Dell Children’s Medical Center are excited to announce that three leading pediatric cardiologists, D. Byron Holt, MD, FSCAI, Chesney Castleberry, MD, and Hitesh Agrawal, MD, MBA, FSCAI, have formally joined the full-time faculty of the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas and the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease. As part of a clinical partnership between Dell Children’s Medical Center and UT Health Austin, the clinical practice of the Dell Medical School, each physician also holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Pediatrics within the Dell Medical School.
These physicians offer a diverse set of subspecialized clinical care and leadership skills and are leading specialty programs designed to deliver the most advanced medical interventions for both children and adults with congenital heart disease. They will continue to further the strategic mission of the partnership between UT Health Austin, Dell Children’s Medical Center, and the Dell Medical School. Together, these organizations are integrating clinical care, research, and education by building a network of colleagues who focus their energy, expertise, and skills on advancing science and medicine for the benefit of children and families in Central Texas and beyond.
“Our integrated cardiac team shares a commitment to working in close collaboration with one another, with our community colleagues, and with referring physicians who entrust us with the care of their patients who need our specialized services,” says Charles Fraser, Jr., MD, Chief of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery for the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease. “We are passionate about the power of multidisciplinary care, and our group of dedicated and experienced clinicians focus all of their energy and expertise on the care of each unique patient.
“Having these three outstanding clinicians formally assume roles with UT Health Austin and the Dell Medical School is an exciting and critical milestone as we work to align our programs and emphasizes the benefits of a vibrant academic healthcare environment. Dell Children’s is rapidly becoming a preeminent, destination pediatric hospital, and this important step is completely aligned with the vision of excellence,” says Dr. Fraser.
The Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease is the only pediatric cardiac care program in Central Texas offering comprehensive heart care for newborns, infants, children, and adolescents. The care team provides a multi-faceted continuum of care, coordinating patient care with privately practicing physicians and other care team members to ensure patients receive the highest level of specialized care and experience a seamless transition to adult congenital cardiac care. The program has expanded services to offer every available treatment option as well as superior patient outcomes.
The care team at the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease is comprised of over 200 clinicians and staff members, including cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, electrophysiologists, critical care specialists, hospitalists, anesthesiologists, perfusionists, nurses, advanced practice providers, social workers, psychologists, child life specialists, dietitians, physical and occupational therapists, pharmacists, quality and outcomes specialists, and more, providing unparalleled care for patients and their families every step of the way. With specialized training and focus in the care and support of children with congenital heart disease, this program treats complex pediatric and congenital heart problems in a holistic, family-centered environment.
Dr. Holt is a board-certified interventional cardiologist with long standing commitment to Dell Children’s. As the inaugural UT Health Austin Chief of Pediatric Cardiology for the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease, he is a leader and innovator in pediatric cardiac care, education, and research. He has been a committed, visionary figure in Austin and across Central Texas for more than 15 years. Dr. Holt specializes in interventional catheterization of children and adults with congenital heart disease. Additionally, Dr. Holt joins the full-time faculty as an associate professor in the Dell Medical School’s Department of Pediatrics.
“Being a member of the full-time faculty of the Dell Medical School is a tremendous privilege and offers the opportunity to more fully engage the strengths of The University of Texas at Austin,” says Dr. Holt. “The collaboration across departments facilitates research opportunities that we plan to build here in the medical community of Austin. The cross-collaboration will help us engage people in all areas, from engineering and basic sciences to genetic therapy, all working on a common problem that could ultimately benefit children with heart disease. I believe the opportunities are limitless.”
Dr. Castleberry is a board-certified pediatric cardiologist and the Medical Director for the Heart Failure, VAD, and Transplant Program within the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease. She specializes in pediatric heart failure and transplantation. Additionally, Dr. Castleberry is an associate professor in the Dell Medical School’s Department of Pediatrics
“This is a very exciting opportunity, as we will all be more closely connected with our colleagues at The University of Texas at Austin, including the Dell Medical School and the School of Engineering as well as the other academic institutions across campus,” says Dr. Castleberry. “Through this collaboration, we hope to provide innovative treatment options for kids with heart disease, including those with failed heart circulation who need mechanical heart pumps or a transplant. I’m looking forward to engaging in the immunology world with UT Austin faculty who are teaching at the medical school and engaging with the engineers who are working on mechanical pumps for kids as well as the many other opportunities that are available through this collaboration with UT Austin.”
Dr. Agrawal is a board-certified interventional cardiologist in the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease. He specializes in catheter-based interventions for children and adults with complex congenital heart disease and patients who have received a heart transplant, coronary artery anomalies, and pulmonary vein stenosis. Additionally, Dr. Agrawal is an assistant professor in the Dell Medical School’s Department of Pediatrics.
“Over the last decade, there have been a lot of technological advancements in cardiac care, and the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease is here to provide state-of-the-art treatment options to children from our region and beyond,” says Dr. Agrawal. “At the same time, we are pursuing ongoing research to improve outcomes using innovative devices for small children with heart conditions. The resources available from UT Health Austin can be utilized to achieve what we are here to do in Austin.”
As the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease team continues to grow, opportunities to further interconnect care across Austin and the surrounding areas also become available on a national and international basis. Primary care and community physicians, specialty physicians, and neonatal ICUs and nurseries are all integral components of the comprehensive, integrated care team that is necessary to deliver exceptional medical care to the community. Dell Children’s Medical Center and UT Health Austin are working to better streamline care through collaborative partnerships that not only benefit patients and families, but also improve health outcomes.
“We are focused on building a world-class program here, and I think if you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. It’s our passion, it’s our mission,” says Dr. Holt.
To learn more about the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease, visit here.
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