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The Ward Family Heart Center at Children’s Mercy has received approval to begin performing pediatric heart transplants, making it the first healthcare facility in the Kansas City region to offer the life-saving procedure to pediatric patients.

Leading the Children’s Mercy heart transplant team are two nationally recognized experts:

James D. St. Louis, MD, is a board-certified thoracic and cardiac surgeon with more than 15 years of pediatric experience. Dr. St. Louis previously was the Director of Pediatric Cardiac Transplantation at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital.

Aliessa P. Barnes, MD, is a board-certified pediatric cardiologist specializing in pediatric heart failure and pediatric cardiac transplantation. Dr. Barnes has 10 years of experience, the past five as Medical Director of Heart Transplantation at Children’s Medical Center, Dallas.

Children’s Mercy also will offer for the first time ventricular assist devices (VADs), critical to support pediatric heart transplant patients as they wait for a new heart.


Dr. James D. St. Louis; Dr. Aliessa P. Barnes; ventricular assist devices; VAD; Children's Hospitals; Heart Surgery

MeSH Keywords

Heart Transplantation; Hospitals, Pediatric; Heart Assist Devices