Dr. Charles Fraser is returning to his alma mater after 23 years at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, where he was senior surgeon of its congenital heart surgery program which is ranked No. 1 nationally by U.S. News & World Report. He also served as surgeon-in-chief of the hospital’s surgical enterprise, leading more than 100 surgeons.
Having graduated from The University of Texas at Austin and received his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston; Dr. Fraser is a distinguished alumnus at both institutions. He become a surgical resident at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, followed by a pediatric heart surgery fellowship at Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, and a heart surgery residency again at Johns Hopkins.
Over the course of his illustrious career, Fraser has performed more than 10,000 heart surgeries, refining techniques in the treatment of infants, children and adults with congenital heart disease. He is also widely regarded as the successor to Houston heart surgery and artificial heart implantation pioneers Michael DeBakey, M.D., and Denton Cooley, M.D.
“This unparalleled career opportunity is a chance for my wife Helen and me to give back to The University of Texas, which has been so integral to both of our families for over 100 years — it’s very emotional for me and our family,” Fraser said.
Building a Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Center in Central Texas
Dr. Fraser will play a leading role in building the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease, a focused pediatric and congenital heart program that leverages the power of the partnership between UT Health Austin, Dell Medical School, the greater University of Texas community, and Dell Children’s Medical Center. He will lead an integrated team that includes cardiologists, pediatric heart surgeons, anesthesiologists and critical care providers.
“This is an important alignment of vision and support from Dell Med and Dell Children’s. The strength of the UT System presents almost limitless collaborative research and educational opportunities, creating powerful platforms to take on tough problems,” Fraser said.
“The Dell Children’s pediatric heart surgery program has grown tremendously since its inception in 1988, and Dr. Fraser will build upon this excellent foundation and accelerate our progress on the path to becoming one of the top pediatric cardiovascular centers in the nation,” said Craig Cordola, president and chief executive officer of Ascension Texas, which includes Dell Children’s. “As a result, more infants, children and adolescents diagnosed with congenital and acquired heart conditions will be able to receive the most advanced evidence-based care close to home and family.”
Teaching and Research
Dr. Fraser plans to teach students at Dell Medical School and continue his research, which focuses on surgical outcomes and quality, circulatory support, brain protection and bioengineering as a way to correct congenital heart defects. He studies neurological outcomes after heart surgery in children as well.
“Not only is Chuck one of the country’s top surgeons, he’s constantly pushing the threshold for improving the systems of care,” said Clay Johnston, M.D., Ph.D. and dean of Dell Med. “That makes him a perfect fit for the work that the medical school and our partners are doing to improve health in Austin and Central Texas.”