Montefiore News Releases
$1 Million Gift Allows Babies to Get Heart Care Before Being Born
- December 12, 2017
John H. Gutfreund Fetal Heart Program at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore
Offers Multidisciplinary Care to Unborn Babies and Moms-to-Be
NEW YORK (December 12, 2017) –Thanks to the generosity of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Pediatric Heart Center at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore is opening the John H. Gutfreund Fetal Heart Program at the Montefiore Hutchinson Campus. The new center offers state-of-the-art advanced cardiac care for pregnant women and their families, including the latest imaging technology to evaluate the fetal heart. It is located minutes from labor and delivery services and the neonatal intensive care unit at Montefiore’s Jack D. Weiler Hospital.
The program offers complete heart care for mothers-to-be who have serious health conditions such as diabetes, lupus and other diseases that can affect the heart development of the fetus. The multidisciplinary team includes: cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, obstetricians, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, neonatologists, advanced nurse practitioners, social workers, child life specialists and quality-in-life specialists, who support families with decision-making from the moment of prenatal diagnosis through surgery and beyond. They are all trained to provide the highest level of fetal cardiac care from the time of diagnosis, typically during the second trimester of pregnancy.
“The heart is the first organ that functions in humans, beating spontaneously by week four of development,” said Nadine Choueiter, M.D., director, John H. Gutfreund Fetal Heart Program and assistant professor of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “Pregnancy can be a time of worry and stress for expectant mothers so our goal is to diagnose babies with complex heart disease at the earliest possible time and reassure families by educating them, and planning the best care before the baby is born.”
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation has given the $1 million gift to CHAM in memory of Mr. Gutfreund, who served on the Board of Trustees at Montefiore, and was a true New Yorker with a strong sense of civic duty. He believed that less affluent communities deserved quality healthcare and as a result he purposely targeted his unwavering commitment on Montefiore and the Bronx.
“My family and I are thrilled by the opening of the John H. Gutfreund Fetal Heart Program at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore,” said J.P. Gutfreund, son of John Gutfreund and current trustee of Montefiore. “In my father’s more than five decades of devoted board service to Montefiore, CHAM was always a part of the organization that held a special meaning to him. I know he would have been a great supporter of the amazing work that will be done at this center by Dr. Hsu, Dr. Peek, Dr. Choueiter and their team. This facility is made even more special by having been granted by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The Niarchos family are close friends of ours, and we are incredibly touched by this generous gift. We look forward to all the positive outcomes and support that will be delivered by this center.”
“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is proud to honor the memory of our good friend, and also support a cutting-edge and essential service at Montefiore,” said Andreas C. Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. “John Gutfreund’s dedication and commitment to this community to facilitate greater access to high quality health care is an inspiration, and we are proud to honor his legacy through support for this innovative program.”