Leading Pediatric Heart Surgeon, Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr., Joins Texas Heart Institute Board

HOUSTON, TX — Officials at Texas Heart Institute (THI) announced today the appointment of a longstanding member of the THI family, Charles Fraser, Jr., MD, to its Board of Trustees.

Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr. is one of the world’s leading pediatric heart surgeons and an active member of the THI Professional Staff. He has fostered the development of nationally and internationally recognized pediatric heart and lung transplant and mechanical circulatory support programs, and he is the pioneer of a number of lifesaving first-in-human procedures and devices. He serves as the Chief of Pediatric and Congenital Cardiothoracic Surgery at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas and holds faculty appointments at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, where he is a professor in the Departments of Surgery and Perioperative Care and Pediatrics.

“Dr. Fraser’s commitment to serve on the Board underscores his commitment to THI’s mission and deep understanding of the importance of continuing the traditions of excellence that Dr. Denton A. Cooley set when he founded THI in 1962,” said THI Board Chairman Eric Wade. “Dr. Fraser’s expertise and his solid knowledge of THI, the Texas Medical Center and the global cardiovascular research environment constitute exactly the kind of leadership we need during this exciting period of growth at THI.”

Dr. Fraser’s leadership in the development of internationally recognized and nationally ranked clinical programs have impacted patients around the world and elevated the quality of care through the many surgeons he has helped train. He and his team have operated on more than 16,000 children and adults in need of congenital cardiac repairs and have pioneered the surgical care of these patients, with a particular emphasis on complex neonatal repairs and difficult cardiac surgeries, and valve repair.

Dr. Fraser implanted the world’s first DeBakey Child Cardiac assist device in March 2004.  He served as the National Principal Investigator of a pivotal, first ever, multi-center trial to assess the safety and benefit of the Berlin Heart Pediatric EXCOR ventricular assist device. The device was subsequently approved in December 2011 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for clinical use, making it the first device to be approved specifically for small babies. In 2011, Dr. Fraser’s heart failure team implanted the first total artificial heart at a children’s hospital.

Dr. Fraser was recruited to Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in 1995 to establish a new congenital heart surgery unit. In 2002, his team developed the first pediatric lung transplant program in the Southwest, which grew to be the nation’s largest. Three years later, he and his team performed the first successful pediatric heart/lung transplant in the Southwest.

Dr. Fraser served as the Chief of the Division of Congenital Heart Surgery at Baylor, Co-Director of the Texas Children’s Heart Center and Surgeon-in-Chief at Texas Children’s Hospital where he and his team worked to refine the surgical treatment of small babies, children and adults with congenital cardiac disease. Under his leadership Texas Children’s congenital heart surgery program was ranked No. 1 nationally by U.S. News & World Report.

As an active member of the THI Professional Staff, Dr. Fraser served as the director of the Adult Congenital Heart Surgery Program prior to accepting the THI Board appointment.


About Texas Heart Institute

The Texas Heart Institute (THI), founded by world-renowned cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Denton A. Cooley in 1962, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastating toll of cardiovascular disease through innovative and progressive programs in research, education and improved patient care. More information about THI (@Texas_Heart) is available at www.texasheart.org.