US News Best of Children's Hospitals - Heart Center at CHKDU.S. News & World Report has ranked the Virginia Congenital Cardiac Collaborative, CHKD’s partnership with University of Virginia Children’s hospital, one of the best cardiology and heart surgery programs in the country. The publication’s 2022-23 “Best Children’s Hospitals” guide ranked the collaborative No. 20 among the top 50 pediatric cardiology and heart surgery programs in the country.

Congenital Cardiac Collaborative

CHKD's cardiac surgery program is part of a regional collaborative between CHKD and the University of Virginia.

CHKD and UVA combine the efforts of pediatric cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, intensive care physicians and cardiac support professionals from both institutions with the goal of improving outcomes for children with complex congenital heart defects.

Board-certified in Thoracic Surgery

The pediatric cardiac surgery team at CHKD's Heart Center provides expert, patient-centered care in collaboration with our cardiologists, neonatologists, and pediatric intensivists. Family members and referring physicians are also essential members of our care teams.

Dr. Philip Smith, Chief of Cardiac Surgery at CHKD, and  Dr. James Gangemi, Surgical Director of the University of Virginia/CHKD collaborative, are both board certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and perform the gamut of operations with a dedicated cardiac surgery team in CHKD's new state-of-the-art operating suite.

CHKD's team includes three board-certified pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists who also assist in the care of patients who require any diagnostic or interventional catheterization procedure. In addition, they provide anesthesia for all complex cardiac surgery patients who require other procedures, including general surgery, dental procedures, and endoscopy, as well as CT or MRI imaging studies.

CHKD is Virginia's only freestanding full-service children's hospital. Every inch of our facility and all members of our medical team are devoted exclusively to the needs of young people. Our patients benefit from the full range of pediatric specialists and support services available only at freestanding children's hospitals.

Volumes and Outcomes

CHKD is dedicated to growing the cardiac surgery program to benefit all patients in the Hampton Roads area. For benchmarking purposes, CHKD reports its volumes and outcomes data with the Society for Thoracic Surgeons.

Conditions we treat include the following:

Insurance and Referral Information  

If you have an HMO, you must:  

  • Get a referral from your child's primary care physician before you call to make an appointment. 
  • Make sure your referral has not expired. Many are good for only 30 days, so check yours before you come to your appointment. If your referral has expired, call your primary care physician and explain your situation. In most cases, your primary care physician will provide a new or extended referral. 
  • Bring the referral with you to the appointment. If you do not have a referral, or if the referral you have is expired, your HMO will not pay for your appointment. 

If you have fee-for-service insurance or a PPO, you do not need a physician's referral to make an appointment. 

We offer in-depth information about insurance in our billing and insurance section.