Doctors and Care Teams

Meet the Nemours Cardiac Center Team in Florida

Our team is made up of national leaders in heart care who only care for kids, and includes board-certified pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, anesthesiologists and critical care physicians named among the Best Doctors in America®. And since many heart problems occur with other medical conditions, it’s good to know we have access to pediatric specialists in more than 30 additional disciplines.


Medical and Administrative Leadership

Peter D. Wearden, MD, PhD

Chair, Nemours Cardiac Center in Florida
Chief, Cardiothoracic Surgery

Specialties: Cardiothoracic surgery, cardiac problems and Down syndrome
Learn More About Dr. Wearden »


Dawn Tucker, CNP, RN, CPNP-AC

Cardiac Program Administrative Director

Specialties: Cardiovascular disease as a nurse practitioner in cardiothoracic surgery and cardiovascular intensive care.


Mary B. Mehta, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Pensacola and Florida Network Operations
Pediatric Cardiologist

Specialties: Cardiology, fetal echocardiography, congenital heart disease, preventive cardiology
Learn More About Dr. Mehta »


 
Cardiology Specialists and Subspecialists

Kimberly Baker, MD

Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care

Specialties: Pediatric cardiac intensive care
Learn More About Dr. Baker »


Michael A. Bingler, MD

Medical Director, Interventional Cardiology

Specialties: Pediatric interventional cardiology, pulmonary hypertension and vein stenosis, cardiomyopathy in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, pulmonary valve placement
Learn More About Dr. Bingler »


William Blanchard, MD

Pediatric Cardiologist

Specialties: Pediatric cardiology, preventive cardiology, congenital heart disease
Learn More About Dr. Blanchard »


Katherine T. Braley, MD

Pediatric Cardiologist

Specialties: Cardiology, preventive cardiology
Learn More About Dr. Braley »


Constantinos Chrysostomou, MD

Chief, Cardiac Critical Care 

Specialties: Pediatric cardiac intensive care
Learn More About Dr. Chrysostomou »


Gul Dadlani, MD

Chief, Pediatric Cardiology

Specialties: Cardiology, pulmonary hypertension, congenital heart defects, heart failure, Williams syndrome
Learn More About Dr. Dadlani »


Joseph Davenport, MD

Chief, Division of Pediatric Cardiology

Specialties: Pediatric cardiology, congenital heart disease
Learn More About Dr. Davenport »


Maya Dorotan-Guevara, MD

Pediatric Cardiologist

Specialties: Cardiology, preventive cardiology


Ameneh A. Ebadi, DO

Pediatric Cardiologist

Specialties: Cardiology, preventive cardiology, congenital heart disease
Learn More About Dr. Ebadi »


Thomas C. Edwards, MD

Pediatric Cardiologist

Specialties: Cardiology, preventive cardiology, congenital heart disease
Learn More About Dr. Edwards »


Steven Fishberger, MD

Medical Director, Electrophysiologist

Specialties: Cardiology, cardiac interventional electrophysiology, cardiac pacing
Learn More About Dr. Fishberger »


Tomislav Ivsic, MD

Pediatric Cardiologist

Specialties: Cardiology, preventive cardiology
Learn More About Dr. Ivsic »


Bahram Kakavand, MD

Pediatric Cardiologist

Specialties: Cardiology, preventive cardiology, electrophysiology
Learn More About Dr. Kakavand »


Steven Lichtenstein, MD

Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiologist

Specialties: Anesthesiology
Learn More About Dr. Lichtenstein »


Eva H. Nunlist, DO

Pediatric Cardiologist

Specialties: Cardiology, preventive cardiology, congenital heart disease
Learn More About Dr. Nunlist »


 
Who's Who on Your Child's Cardiac Care Team
Cardiologists

Pediatric cardiologists are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of abnormalities of the heart and blood vessels in infants, children and teens. Pediatric cardiologists prescribe medications and perform echocardiograms (ultrasounds of the heart), EKGs (a test of the heart’s electrical activity) or other tests to monitor the function of the heart.


Cardiothoracic or Cardiovascular Surgeons

Cardiothoracic surgeons, who may also be called cardiovascular surgeons or heart surgeons, specialize in performing surgical procedures involving the heart and blood vessels. “Thoracic” refers to the chest, and “vascular” refers to blood vessels.


Critical Care Specialists

Critical care specialists provide intensive care for kids who have a malfunctioning or failure of a vital organ (such as the heart, lungs, brain, kidney or liver). Critical care specialists, who are also called intensivists because they manage intensive care, employ medicines and devices to help support children recovering from an operation or an illness.


Electrophysiologists

Electrophysiologists are cardiologists with special training in diagnosing and treating abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias. Their care might be diagnostic or procedural, including electrophysiology studies, ablations, pacemaker insertion and management or internal defibrillator insertion.


Interventional Pediatric Cardiologists

Interventional pediatric cardiologists specialize in performing cardiac catheterizations and other minimally invasive image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat certain heart defects. A cardiac catheterization involves placing a thin tube (catheter) into a blood vessel in the groin or neck and using X-ray images to guide it into the heart.


Cardiac Anesthesiologists

Cardiac anesthesiologists are doctors who have extensive training in sedation, anesthesia, life support and pain management before, during and after cardiac operations. Cardiac anesthesiologists also provide anesthesia services for infants and children with heart abnormalities who are having noncardiac surgery, cardiac testing or other procedures.


Fetal Cardiologists

Fetal cardiologists specialize in the prenatal (prior to birth) diagnosis of congenital heart defects using fetal echocardiograms (ultrasounds of the baby’s heart during pregnancy). They advise parents and their obstetrician about any special care that should be taken during pregnancy or delivery, and arrange for baby’s care and transfer to the Nemours Cardiac Center after birth.


Cardiac Nurses

Registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in the Nemours Cardiac Center provide 24-hour care at your child’s bedside. Our nurses undergo extensive training in cardiac disease and are dedicated to giving the best possible care.


Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

Pediatric nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) have specialized education, training, experience and skills that have prepared them to provide care for children with heart disease. NPs and PAs are central members of our team who work under the supervision of an attending physician.


Cardiac Care Coordinator

The cardiac care coordinator is an experienced cardiac nurse who helps organize services for our patients from the outpatient clinic through hospitalization, discharge to home and follow-up. The cardiac care coordinator is the main link between families and members of the cardiac care team.


Catheterization Technician

Catheterization technicians (cath techs) assist interventional cardiologists and radiologists with procedures, and make sure that the equipment needed for each procedure is available.


Clinical Dietitians

Clinical dietitians create diet plans and offer dietary counseling to meet the special needs of our patients. They write recipes for high-calorie or other special infant feeding formulas for babies who need catch-up growth after surgery and hospitalization. They work with families prior to discharge and in the outpatient setting to help kids with cardiac problems achieve normal growth.

Learn More About Dietitians »


ECMO Coordinator

ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, is a method used by a life-support machine to perform the work of lungs. The ECMO coordinator is responsible for organizing the personnel and equipment necessary for the smooth day-to-day care of patients who need the assistance of an ECMO machine to support their heart and lungs.


ECMO Specialist

A nurse, respiratory therapist or perfusionist trained to operate and monitor the ECMO circuit.


Exercise Physiologists

Exercise physiologists conduct cardiopulmonary exercise tests (stress tests) in our outpatient services exercise lab by measuring a child’s heart rate and rhythm while riding a stationary bicycle or running on a treadmill.


Geneticist

Our medical geneticists have specialized knowledge in cardiovascular genetics and will assist in evaluating your child’s cardiac condition if a genetic issue may be involved.


Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists or behavioral health specialists, help identify children who may experience developmental delays, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or learning disabilities as a result of a serious heart condition or its treatment. In collaboration with parents and pediatricians, our psychologist provides inpatient and outpatient developmental screening.


Pain Management

Pediatric pain management focuses on relieving pain and enhancing the quality of life of children with chronic, severe, life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. Integrative medicine and pain management physicians use a family-centered approach to develop a balanced outpatient and/or inpatient plan that’s focused on physical and emotional rehabilitation and wellness.

Learn More About Pain Management »


Perfusionist

A cardiovascular perfusionist is a key member of a cardiac surgery team who manages the heart-lung machine during cardiac surgery. Under the supervision of the surgeon, the perfusionist manages the mechanical oxygenation of the blood and maintains blood flow while the heart operation is in progress.


Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory therapists evaluate and treat breathing problems associated with pediatric heart disease. They manage the mechanical ventilators used to support patients who are unable to breathe without assistance, adjust oxygen therapy, and deliver breathing treatments. Respiratory therapists also provide chest physiotherapy (chest PT), which helps move mucus out of the lungs to open airway passages. Specially trained respiratory therapists assist our anesthesiologists in providing anesthesia care to our patients.


Sonographers

Sonographers use ultrasound to make two- or three-dimensional images of the heart called echocardiograms, which reveal important information about the heart’s structures and function. Our experienced sonographers are skilled in working with young children and know how to obtain clear images, even in wiggly babies and kids who have difficulty staying still during the ultrasound scan.


Speech Therapists

Feeding problems in children with congenital heart defects may be related to a delay in feeding as newborns, such as problems with swallowing and breathing coordination, muscle weakness and easy tiring. The speech therapist in the Cardiac Center evaluates and treats feeding-related problems in infants and young children with these issues.

Learn More About Speech Therapists »


Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapists work with infants and children to help them develop the skills they need to interact with their environment such as seeing, hearing and using their hands.

Learn More About Occupational Therapists »


 
Cardiac Support Team Members
Child Life Specialists

Our Child Life specialists help support children during stressful hospital experiences, often through play, art and other fun activities. Depending upon the child’s age, Child Life specialists may use puppets, dolls and books to help children and their siblings become familiar with hospital equipment and procedures.

Learn More About Child Life Specialists »


Interpreter Services

To make sure that you understand everything about your child’s care, we offer interpreter services for children and families who don’t speak English. We have compassionate, highly qualified foreign language interpreters in many languages, including Spanish, Russian and American Sign Language (ASL) available upon request. We also have a Language Line that allows caregivers to speak to you and your child through a telephone interpreter service. Nearly all foreign languages are represented.

Learn More and Notify Your Appointment Scheduler »


Medical Assistants

Medical assistants perform clinical and administrative tasks, such as checking in patients, assisting nurses and physicians, and recording vital signs.


Pharmacists

Pharmacists are experts in the medical properties, proper dosing and interactions of medicines recommended for patients.


Physical Therapists

Physical therapists (PTs) prevent, identify and correct movement problems. Within the Cardiac Center, they assess and provide treatment to patients who have movement limitations due to long hospitalizations or underlying medical conditions.

Learn More About Physical Therapists »


Spiritual Care

Spiritual care provides non-denominational strength and support when you and your child need it most. Our spiritual care team can help you cope with the stress of your child’s diagnosis and treatment or just being away from home. They can offer religious services, contact a clergy member of your own faith and offer emotional support if you’re faced with difficult decisions.

Learn More About Spiritual Care »


Social Workers

Social workers help children and families who are dealing with difficult situations. They provide counseling, assist with transportation, lodging, finances and insurance and connect children and families with resources they need like a home care company. A social worker also helps families cope and may serve as the primary contact for updates while a child is undergoing a procedure.

Learn More About Social Workers »


Unit Clerks

Unit clerks handle telephones calls, monitor visitation and serve as vital communication coordinators between the patient units and procedure areas. They assist the medical team by maintaining critical supplies and equipment. They’re available to answer questions, provide directions and help families learn about the resources available to make an extended stay in the hospital a little easier.


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Care Where Kids Need It

Nemours Cardiac Center expands care across Florida based on patient need.

Locations and Facilities »