Cardiology News Pediatrics Mar 16, 2018

Preeminent Pediatric Heart Surgeon, Charles Fraser, Jr., MD, Joins UT Health Austin

A headshot portrait of Charles D. Fraser, Jr., MD, Chief of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease.

Charles Fraser, Jr., MD, 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 clinical partnership between UT Health Austin 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 [Dr. Fraser] one of the country’s top surgeons, he’s constantly pushing the threshold for improving the systems of care,” said Clay Johnston, MD, PhD, who serves as the Dean of the Dell Medical School. “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.”

To learn more about the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease, visit here.

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.