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Congenital Heart Surgeons' Society Data Center
Data Center Team
William M. DeCampli, MD William M. DeCampli, MD
Managing Director, CHSS Data Center
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 Data Center. 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 William G. Williams, MD, FRCSC
Executive Director, CHSS Data Center
Emeritus Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto

Dr Bill Williams is the current director of the Congenital Heart Surgeons Society data center 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 Data Center.

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 Argo, MD
Kirklin/Ashburn Fellow
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 Brian W. McCrindle, MD, MPH, FRCPC, FACC
Statistical Consultant, CHSS Data Center
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 Data Center 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 Data Center Research Team. His research interests include:
  • Clinical aspects of lipid disorders and CV risk factors assessment and intervention, clinical trials.
  • Cardiologic aspects of Kawasaki disease, particularly assessment and intervention for CV risk.
  • An evidence-based approach to common paediatric CV disorders and complaints.
  • Psychosocial, neurodevelopmental and quality of life aspects relevant to paediatric cardiology.
  • Outcomes assessment of congenital heart disease and interventions, both in children and adults.

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 Data Center. 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 Data Center 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 Data Center, 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 Eugene Blackstone, MD
Statistical Consultant, CHSS Data Center
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 Data Center.

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
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 Data Center (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 Data Center.
 
Linda Lambert, APRN 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 data center spans over 25 years, contributing patients and data to the various studies. Her current role at the data center 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.
 
Sunita O'Shea, BSc, CCRP Sunita O'Shea, BSc (Honours), CCRP
Direct the day-to-day operation of the Data Center
Ms. Sunita O'Shea was hired as the CHSS Data Center manager in February 2019. Sunita obtained her Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto and went on to obtain her Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP) designation in 2014. Sunita has 10 years of research experience and specializes in regulatory, ethical, legal, and financial matters. She has successfully led her team through multiple audits (internal and external) and inspections (both Health Canada and FDA). Her role will be to direct the day-to-day operation of the Data Center.
 
Sally Cai, MSc Sally Cai, MSc
Database Manager, CHSS Data Center
After joining the CHSS Data Center 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 Data Center Staff.
 
Tharini Paramananthan, RN, MN Tharini Paramananthan, RN, MN
Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator, CHSS Data Center
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 data center team and much more involved in Cardiac research.
 
Nabi Aghaei, MD Nabi Aghaei, MD
Clinical Research Project Coordinator, CHSS Data Center
Nabi Aghaei joined the CHSS Data Center 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 Data Center.
 
Anna Wasiak, Bsc Anna Wasiak, Bsc (Honours)
Clinical Research Project Assistant, CHSS Data Center
Anna Wasiak joined the CHSS Data Center Team in April 2018 as a Clinical Research Project Assistant. Anna has a Bachelor of Science (Honours Biology) from the University of Ottawa and is working toward a Clinical Research diploma. Prior to joining the CHSS Data Center, she had worked as a Research Assistant at a Contract Research Organization where she assisted in the coordination and monitoring of clinical trials.
 
Maha Rahman, BSc Maha Rahman, BSc
Clinical Research Project Assistant, CHSS Data Center
Maha Rahman joined the CHSS Data Center 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 Data Center 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 Data Center Team and learning more about Cardiac Research.
 
Arnelle Lardizabal, HBSc, IMH Arnelle Lardizabal, HBSc, IMH
Clinical Research Project Assistant, CHSS Data Center
Arnelle Lardizabal joined the CHSS Data Center Team in May 2021 as a Clinical Research Project Assistant. Arnelle obtained her Honours Bachelor of Science (HBSc) in Biology and Psychology from the University of Toronto; and her Graduate Certificate in Infant and Early Child Mental health (IMH) from Seneca College. Prior to joining the CHSS Data Center, she worked as a Clinical Research Assistant at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre where she assisted in data collection and management for clinical studies. Arnelle is looking forward to learning about Cardiac Research and being part of the CHSS Data Center Team.
 
Lauren Graham, BCOM Lauren Graham, BCOM
Administrative Assistant, CHSS Data Center
Lauren Graham recently joined the CHSS Data Center Team in September 2019 as an Administrative Assistant. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen's University and has a background in Marketing and Design. Lauren is looking forward to learning more about Congenital Heart Disease and contributing to the meaningful work the Data Center does for Cardiac research.