Pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon Brian Reemtsen of Mattel Children’s Hospital and the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA, has been named director of the Heart Institute at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. He will also be professor of surgery at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in the College of Medicine’s Department of Surgery.
On Monday (July 24), UAMS and Arkansas Children’s announced the hire after a national search. “We searched for an exceptional leader to join us as we champion children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow,” said Marcy Doderer, president and CEO of Arkansas Children’s. “Dr. Reemtsen is a patient-focused, data-driven heart surgeon and researcher. As the leader of the Heart Institute, he will ensure world-class care for all of the cardiovascular patients at Arkansas Children’s, from those with the tiniest hearts to our adult congenital heart disease patients.”
UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn was excited about Reemsten joining the Department of Surgery at UAMS. “Providing the best and most compassionate care for children with heart problems has been a long-standing priority for UAMS.”
Reemtsen said the Heart Institute will focus on three goals for pediatric heart care at Arkansas Children’s and UAMS:
- Improving outcomes for the smallest and highest-risk children
- Focusing on the fastest-growing number of patients with adult congenital heart disease
- Strengthening the transplant program at Arkansas Children’s hospital
“I feel very honored and overwhelmingly excited about the opportunity to not only lead this great institution, but to have a significant impact on its growth and national presence,” Reemtsen said. “My top priorities are the patients and their families and collaborating with their referring physicians.”
Reemtsen has served as associate professor of surgery and pediatrics and chief of congenital heart surgery and pediatric heart transplant for Mattel Children’s Hospital and David Geffen School of Medicine at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. There, he performed a heart transplant on a 3 week old, who received the heart the size of a strawberry.
Reemtsen earned a medical degree from New York Medical College and completed an internship and residency at UCLA School of Medicine in Los Angeles.