Center for Research and Quality Team
|William M. DeCampli, MD
Managing Director, CHSS Center for Research and Quality
Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Co-Director, Heart Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children
Professor of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Central Florida
William DeCampli is Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Co-Director of the Heart Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, Professor of Surgery in the College of Medicine and Graduate Faculty Scholar at the University of Central Florida.
Dr. DeCampli received his B.S at MIT and PhD at Harvard University in astrophysics. He was the Chaim Weizman Fellow in Theoretical Astrophysics at the California Institute of Technology before completing the MD degree in two years at the University of Miami. He completed all of his residency training at Stanford before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 1996, where he was Associate Professor of Surgery and pediatric cardiac surgeon at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He moved to Florida in 2004 to develop the pediatric cardiac program at Arnold Palmer Hospital and participate in the formation of the new UCF College of Medicine. His clinical program in Orlando has ranked in the top five programs in the country for outcomes in neonatal heart surgery and has appeared repeatedly in US News and World Report's rankings. He is a member of the Congenital Heart Surgeons’ Society and has participated in numerous studies of the CHSS Center for Research and Quality. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and has been Editor and Associate Editor of supplements of Cardiology in the Young.
Dr. DeCampli's principal research interests have been the physiology of single ventricle congenital heart disease and methods of neurological protection during complex congenital heart surgery. His laboratory has focused on optimizing the physiological parameters of selective cerebral perfusion in infants. In 2009 he began collaboration with Dr. Alain Kassab of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at UCF on the application of computational fluid dynamics to congenital heart disease. This collaboration has resulted in several graduate theses and over a dozen published papers and presentations, some with Dr. Christopher Caldarone at SickKids in Toronto. He is an avid teacher and in 2012 was awarded the Richard B. Hornick Award for Faculty Excellence as well as Module and Golden Apple awards at UCF.
|William G. Williams, MD, FRCSC
Executive Director, CHSS Center for Research and Quality
Emeritus Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto
Dr Bill Williams is the current director of the Congenital Heart Surgeons Society Center for Research and Quality since 1997. His professional interests are in all aspects of pediatric congenital heart surgery, adult congenital surgery, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, post-graduate teaching and in clinical outcomes research. He maintains a long-standing interest in database development and use.
Born and educated in a suburb of Toronto, he graduated from medical school at the University of Western Ontario in 1964 and then completed Canadian fellowship post-graduate training in Cardiovascular and Thoracic surgery at the University of Toronto. From 1972 he held a cross appointment in the University and at both the Hospital for Sick Children and Toronto General Hospital. He was University Chair of Cardiac Surgery and Division Chief of Cardiac Surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children. He retired from the clinical practice of congenital heart surgery in July 2006, but continues his interest in clinical research and teaching at the CHSS Center for Research and Quality.
Dr. Williams is a past president of the Congenital Heart Surgeons' Society. He is a recipient of the TSRA-AATS Dwight McGoon Surgeon-Mentor Award in 2005, and has been a visiting professor at many Universities. Professional memberships include the American Association of Thoracic Surgery, Society of Thoracic Surgeons and Honourary membership in the European Association of Cardio-thoracic Surgery.
He and his wife Gail have 3 married children and 5 grand children. Fortunately all live in the Toronto area making frequent family celebrations, cottage and skiing weekend's things to enjoy.
|Madison Argo, MD
Madison is from Borger, Texas, a small town in the heart of the West Texas oil fields. She was raised by her mother and maternal grandmother, both of whom have served as incredible female role models. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2015. During her undergraduate studies she attended a summer anatomy program at Johns Hopkins University in 2013 where she was introduced to the field of medicine, and more specifically, to congenital heart disease for the first time. This was a pivotal summer and ignited her desire to pursue congenital heart surgery. She graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 2019 and was a PGY-2 general surgery resident at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. While at UT Southwestern, Madison was able to witness the incredible aspects of this field including the pathophysiology, intricate surgeries, and long term patient relationships under the mentorship of Dr. Kristine Gulerserian. Both Dr. Guleserian, who encouraged her to chase her dreams, and Dr. Petros Anagnostopoulos, who encouraged her to pursue the Kirklin/Ashburn Fellowship, have been instrumental in her current career path. Madison has previously completed outcomes research in general surgery topics such as inguinal hernias using local anesthesia and different surgical approaches to colectomies. Her most recent publication analyzed heart transplantation during the COVID-19 pandemic. She looks forward to being able to focus solely on congenital heart surgery as a fellow, something very few general surgery residents are able to do. Furthermore she looks forward to enhancing her statistical knowledge and working closely with the CHSS research staff and the various congenital heart surgeons. Madison enjoys spending time with her husband Juan, who is also a PGY-2 general surgery resident at Wisconsin. She also enjoys watching college football, playing sports, and creating art. She very much looks forward to exploring Toronto and tasting the variety of cuisines.
|Brian W. McCrindle, MD, MPH, FRCPC, FACC
Statistical Consultant, CHSS Center for Research and Quality
Staff Cardiologist & Section Head of Epidemiology in Cardiology
The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
Dr. Brian McCrindle is a Co-Director/Statistical Consultant for the CHSS Center for Research and Quality and is a Cardiologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He obtained his BMedSc, MD at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada and continued to complete his FRCPC, MPH from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.
Dr. McCrindle has a strong interest in outcomes research and is a key member of the Center for Research and Quality Research Team. His research interests include:
To date, Dr. McCrindle has published 289 papers, 465 Abstracts, 10 Book Chapters, 2 books and completed 202 presentations at scientific meetings. He is the Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, Progress in Pediatric Cardiology, has 6 professional affiliations and activities and multiple committee memberships.
As a skilled mentor, Dr. McCrindle is behind the success of many research trainees including the training of 3 Kirklin/Ashburn Fellows at the CHSS Center for Research and Quality. Recognized for his mentorship, he is the recipient of many teaching awards, including Honorary Membership in the Golden Key International Honor Society.
In addition to his statistical expertise, Dr. McCrindle brings to the CHSS Center for Research and Quality a scope of knowledge from his leadership in Preventive Cardiology in Pediatrics and in spearheading a vast amount of successful multi institutional studies.
In addition to being Co-Director of the CHSS Center for Research and Quality, Dr. McCrindle is the only non-surgeon full-member of the Congenital Heart Surgeons’ Society. He has first-authored 2 and senior-authored several publications which are viewed as seminal works in this field. He remains committed to furthering and leading multi-institutional research efforts.
He is also an advanced ice and mountain climber.
|Eugene Blackstone, MD
Statistical Consultant, CHSS Center for Research and Quality
Head of Clinical Investigations, Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute
Cleveland Clinic, Ohio
In 1985 Dr. Eugene Blackstone & Dr. John Kirklin proposed that the CHSS surgeons pool their experience in managing infants with rare congenital anomalies of the heart and this concept lead to the establishment of the CHSS Center for Research and Quality.
Drs. Kirklin and Blackstone recognized that the occurrence of congenital heart disease is low and that any single institution requires a great deal of time to acquire sufficient experience to treat these lesions. By pooling the experience of all the CHSS members, Drs. Kirklin and Blackstone proposed that the CHSS surgeons could improve their ability to determine the best methods of treating patients.
Dr. Blackstone has continued to have a major, central role in operations, not only of statistical analysis, but of study conceptualization, design, and eventual abstract and manuscript production. He has continually enhanced the quality of CHSS investigations, introducing cutting edge analytic tools (e.g. competing risks analysis, “bootstrap bagging”), and applied these to CHSS data sets. His contribution to the overall quality and impact of CHSS multi-institutional outcome studies is enormous, as is his contribution to the training of many member surgeons as clinical investigators.
Currently, Dr. Blackstone resides in Cleveland and is full-time head of Clinical Investigations at the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic, and staff member of the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Quantitative Health Sciences and Transplant Center.
Profile on Cleveland Clinic, Ohio website: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/staff_directory/staff_display.aspx?doctorid=2546
|Anusha Jegatheeswaran, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Anusha Jegatheeswaran, MD, PhD, FRCSC is board certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Cardiac Surgery, and completed fellowships in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and SickKids.
Dr. Jegatheeswaran received her MD from McMaster University and completed her surgical residency at the University of Toronto where she was a part of the Surgeon Scientist Program. During this time she was the 5th John W. Kirklin/David A. Ashburn Fellow at the CHSS Center for Research and Quality (July 2008-June 2011) and undertook her PhD in Clinical Epidemiology within the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. She also completed the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Clinician Investigator Program. Among her awards, she was the recipient of a Junior Personnel Research Fellowship from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and also received the American Association of Thoracic Surgery Marc de Leval Fellowship for congenital heart surgeons.
Dr. Jegatheeswaran has a strong interest in clinical research. Her research interests have focused on studies pertaining to interrupted aortic arch, anomalous aortic origin of a coronary artery (AAOCA), and atrioventricular septal defects (AVSD). She is actively involved in spearheading several CHSS initiatives related to AAOCA and AVSD, and is a Faculty Member of the CHSS Center for Research and Quality.
|Linda Lambert, APRN
Ms. Lambert is a Family Nurse Practitioner and the Administrative Director of Research at the University of Utah-Primary Children's Heart Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has over 30 years’ experience caring for children and their families who are preparing to undergo or have undergone surgery for congenital heart disease. In addition to her clinical role, she first-assisted in the operating room and oversaw all of the research for the pediatric cardiothoracic division. In 2017, she transitioned to her role as Administrative Director of Research for the Heart Center which includes surgery, cardiology and critical care.
Her involvement with the Center for Research and Quality spans over 25 years, contributing patients and data to the various studies. Her current role at the Center for Research and Quality is to represent the research coordinators at the leadership level, coordinate quarterly meetings and plan the annual coordinator meeting held in conjunction with the CHSS annual meeting.
In addition to her involvement with the CHSS, she is actively involved in the Pediatric Heart Network (PHN) and the PHN nursing research committee. She serves as the nursing representative for the NPC- QIC Phase II Leadership Committee and is the past-chair of the AHA Pediatric CVSN sub-committee. She has authored 67 manuscripts (5 as first author), 17 abstracts, offered multiple presentations and was the first nurse to be funded by the PHN for her study “Training in Exercise Activities and Motion for Growth: A Randomized Trial” which is currently enrolling.
In addition, she has 3 married children, 3 granddaughters and 2 great-granddaughters that she enjoys spending time with.
Research Program Manager, CHSS Center for Research and Quality
Maria joined the CHSS CRQ at SickKids in November 2022. Maria’s educational background is in pharmaceutical sciences. She has 10 years of clinical research experience from several academic hospitals in Toronto in fields including cardiology, oncology, surgery and mental health. Maria obtained her Project Management Professional (PMP) designation in 2020. She is excited to be part of the team and eager to apply her experience to further advance the CHSS CRQ mission.
|Sally Cai, MSc
Database Manager, CHSS Center for Research and Quality
After joining the CHSS Center for Research and Quality in 2001, Sally has contributed her expertise in working with Statistical Analysis Software to numerous recognized CHSS publications. Sally works closely with the Kirklin/Ashburn fellow, and is a pillar to the CHSS Center for Research and Quality Staff.
|Tharini Paramananthan, RN, MN
Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator, CHSS Center for Research and Quality
Ms. Tharini Paramananthan joined the CHSS Data Centre in summer 2018 as a Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator. Tharini has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and Masters of Science in Nursing from York University. She joined 4D, in-patient cardiac unit at the The Labatt Family Heart Centre as a Registered Nurse in 2008 and gained an extensive clinic experience related to Congenital Heart Diseases. She also taught nursing at various universities as a Clinical Instructor and Faculty Advisor. She had an opportunity to be a simulation educator and part of Education Resource Group at the Learning Institute. Recently, she had another great opportunity to provide care to medically complex children with G tube as a Resource Nurse at The Hospital for Sick Children. Tharini is very much looking forward to this opportunity to be part of CHSS Center for Research and Quality team and much more involved in Cardiac research.
|Nabi Aghaei, MD
Clinical Research Project Coordinator, CHSS Center for Research and Quality
Nabi Aghaei joined the CHSS Center for Research and Quality Team in March 2018 as a Clinical Research Project Assistant. Nabi obtained his MD in Iran and worked as a family physician for few years. Upon immigrating to Canada, he decided to pursue an academic career in clinical research. After completing the Clinical Research Program at Oxford College and an internship at the Hospital for Sick Children, he joined the CHSS Center for Research and Quality.
Clinical Research Project Assistant, CHSS Center for Research and Quality
Jonathan Hazlewood joined the CHSS Center for Research and Quality Team in February 2021 as a Clinical Research Project Assistant. Jonathan obtained his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Criminology from the University of Toronto and Master of Arts in Criminology from Wilfrid Laurier University. Before joining the CHSS Data Centre, he worked as a Patient information Clerk at the COVID-19 Testing Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children. Jonathan is looking to build and develop his reach analysis skills and contribute to various projects within the Data Centre.
|Maha Rahman, BSc (Honours)
Clinical Research Coordinator, CHSS Center for Research and Quality
Maha Rahman joined the CHSS Center for Research and Quality Team in January 2020 as a Clinical Research Project Assistant. Maha obtained her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biomedical Science from York University. Prior to joining the CHSS Center for Research and Quality she spent 5 years doing Clinical Research involving lupus at The Hospital for Sick Children. Maha is looking forward to being a part of the CHSS Center for Research and Quality Team and learning more about Cardiac Research.
Apoorva Anand joined SickKids and the CHSS Centre for Research and Quality in March 2023. Apoorva graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from India and an MSc in Public Health degree from McGill University, Canada. Prior to joining SickKids, Apoorva worked full-time as a Project Manager and coordinated a COVID-19 self-testing trial in Cape Town, South Africa. Her previous research focused on the use of inhalation sedation in pediatric dental procedures in India as well as point-of-care diagnostics for COVID-19 and various sexually transmitted infections globally. Apoorva has also volunteered with COVID-19 public health initiatives such as WeCanVax and IndiaCOVIDSOS. Apoorva hopes to apply her skills in research study management and is looking forward to contributing to congenital cardiac research at CHSS.
Iris Deng joined the CHSS Center for Research and Quality Team in June 2023 as a Clinical Research Project Assistant. Prior to joining the CHSS CRQ, she was involved in a Clinical Research Intern role in the Division of Rheumatology at The Hospital for Sick Children, where she immersed herself in both industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated research studies involving lupus. Iris earned her Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biomedical Toxicology, along with a minor in Neuroscience from the University of Guelph. Since then, she discovered her passion for clinical research and pursued further post-graduate studies to obtain her Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research from Humber College. Iris strives to make a positive impact through contributing to research studies and learning more about the various aspects of congenital cardiac research.