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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.
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:
Sunita O'Shea, BSc, CCRP Sunita O'Shea, BSc (Honours), CCRP
Operations Manager, CHSS Data Centre

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.
Kate Pearson, RN, MN Kate Pearson, RN, MN
Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator, CHSS Data Center

Ms. Kate Pearson joined the CHSS Data Centre in fall 2017 as Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator. Kate has a Bachelor of Nursing Science from Queen's University and a Master of Nursing from the University of Toronto. She has extensive knowledge of pediatric cardiology, having worked on the cardiac inpatient unit at The Hospital for Sick Children for over 10 years. In addition to her clinical experience, Kate has taken on roles in clinical informatics and technology including acting as clinical lead on a project to implement new technology and improve electronic patient monitoring within the hospital. Kate is passionate about improving the care provided to patients with congenital heart disease and is looking forward to this opportunity to become more involved in 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.
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 be 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.
Uroosa Khan, BSc (Honours) Uroosa Khan, BSc (Honours)
Clinical Research Project Assistant, CHSS Data Center

Uroosa Khan joined the CHSS Data Center in June 2019 as a Clinical Research Project Assistant. Uroosa obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental and Health Studies from Glendon Campus-York University in 2017 and a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Research from Humber College afterwards. Previously, she was an Intern at Mount Sinai Hospital in the ICU where she assisted in clinical trials.
Connor Callahan, MD Connor Callahan, MD
Kirklin/Ashburn Fellow

Dr. Connor Callahan is the current Kirklin/Ashburn (KA) Fellow at the CHSS Data Center. In 2013, Connor obtained his Bachelor of Science in physiology from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He went on to graduate from Medical College of Wisconsin in 2017. Prior to starting as the KA fellow, he completed 2 years of general surgery residency at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri; with plans to pursue their 4/3 fast track cardiothoracic surgery fellowship on his return to St. Louis. He looks forward to the strong foundation the KA Fellowship will offer for a career as an academic congenital cardiac surgeon and looks forward to working with the CHSS membership to help answer the challenging questions the field faces.

His passion for congenital cardiac surgery began as a first year medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and working under the mentorship of Dr. Ronald Woods at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin throughout his medical education. Their work resulted in two publications regarding proximal arch hypoplasia and coarctation of the aorta (World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2019 Jul;10(4):469-474), and single stage repair of coarctation of the aorta and VSD (World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2017 Sep;8(5):559-563). The ability to alter the challenging anatomy and physiology in our patients to give them the best quality of life is what draws Connor to congenital cardiac surgery.

In his spare time, Connor is an avid runner. He moved to Toronto with his wife, and their greyhound. At the Data Center, Connor will pursue a Master's degree in Biostatistics & Epidemiology at the University of Toronto.