Our Story

The story of McGill University and congenital heart disease is marked by a series of historical accomplishments. It starts with Maude Abbott’s clinical research in the mid-thirties and continues with seminal contributions in cardiac surgery at the Montreal Children’s Hospital in the late l950’s. For almost thirty years, the MCH has had one of the most successful programs in cardiac surgery in newborns and infants with complex congenital heart disease.

With success comes growth and transition. The first generation of newborns treated for congenital heart disease at The Children's is now graduating into the adult world. The new transition initiative, the McGill Adult Unit for Congenital Heart Disease or the MAUDE Unit, will ensure that patients with congenital heart disease who graduate from The Children's are followed closely and receive care as adults.

Children born with congenital heart disease will now be able to move seamlessly through the MUHC in what Dr. Jacques Genest, MUHC Director of Cardiology, describes as, "The continuum of care from the fetus to the adult patient."

Dr. Marie Béland, the division head of Pediatric Cardiology at The Children's, lies at one end of that continuum. "We diagnose and take care of fetuses with heart problems and counsel parents alongside with our obstetrical colleagues," she says. After birth, Béland and her colleagues continue to diagnose and manage children's cardiac problems, but they cannot follow the children once they reach age 18.

Straddling both sides of patient care is Tchervenkov, director of the McGill Centre of Excellence for Congenital Heart Disorders, who Béland says, "pioneered infant heart surgery" in Canada. Marelli, at the other end of the continuum, currently cares for about 400 adults with congenital heart problems and expects to see that figure increase by 70 or 80 patients annually, because of the quality of care they receive at The Children's.

The MAUDE Unit is a full service facility where we provide personalized, state of the art care in cardiac surgery, cardiac intervention, valvular heart disease and transplantation as well as integrated care in medicine and obstetrics. Our leadership and collaborators are dedicated to the clinical care and advancement of the field of congenital heart disease worldwide.