Heart Transplant Surgeon & Doctors - Meet the Team

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Directors & Surgeons

Blume MDElizabeth Blume, MD Medical Director

Dr. Blume’s specialties include cardiomyopathy, pediatric heart failure and heart transplantation. Her research is focused on the treatment of end-stage heart disease and heart transplantation in pediatric patients.

Dr. Blume’s current projects include mechanical support devices to improve bridging children to heart transplant and sequelae and quality of life in pediatric heart-transplant recipients. She holds her academic appointment as Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, participates in national multi-centre research studies and is serving currently as the President of the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study Group.


Flynn-ThompsonFrancis Fynn-Thompson, MD
Surgical Director

Dr. Fynn-Thompson serves as an assistant in Cardiac Surgery and is the surgical director for the Heart Transplant Program. In addition, he is a surgeon for the Lung Transplant Program. Dr. Fynn-Thompson's research activities are focused on clinical and translational projects, primarily with regard to minimally invasive techniques and arrhythmia surgery. He holds an Academic Appointment as Instructor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Read how Dr. Fynn-Thompson built a bridge to transplant for a patient with the Berlin Heart.

Cardiac transplant surgeons

Del Nido MDPedro del Nido, MD
Chief of Cardiac Surgery

Dr. del Nido joined Children’s in 1994 and became the chief of cardiac surgery in 2002. His research work has focused on two areas related cardiac surgery: the first area involves investigation of mechanisms of injury from myocardial ischemia and on developing techniques for heart preservation during cardiac surgery. The second area of investigation aims to develop techniques for performing reconstructive surgery inside the beating heart using 3-D echocardiography. Dr. del Nido is the William E. Ladd Professor of Child Surgery at Harvard Medical School. 

Christopher W. BairdChristopher W. Baird, MD

Dr. Baird is the Director of the Congenital Heart Valve Center and an Assistant in Cardiac Surgery at Boston Children's. Board certified in Thoracic Surgery and Surgery, Dr. Baird specializes in the repair of congenital heart defects and pediatric heart transplantation. In addition, he holds the position of Instructor in Surgery at Harvard Medical School.



Sitaram Emani, MD

Dr. Emani is an Assistant in Cardiac Surgery, Board Certified Thoracic Surgeon and an Assistant Professor in Surgery at Harvard Medical School. His specialties include intensive care for cardiac patients, cardiovascular surgery and heart transplantation, as well as aero-digestive disorders. 



John Mayer, MD

Dr. Mayer serves as the senior associate in Cardiac Surgery and as a surgeon for the Heart Transplant Program. Dr. Mayer's major research interests include the short and long-term outcome of the Fontan Operation and Tissue Engineering of Cardiovascular Structures and Heart Transplantation. He holds an Academic Appointment as Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Mayer is also a past President of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.



Frank Pigula, MD

Dr. Pigula is a Senior Associate in Cardiac Surgery, Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Board Certified in Thoracic Surgery. His specialty areas include cardiovascular surgery and heart transplantation, as well as a focus on fetal cardiac interventions research.






Leslie Smoot, MD
Dr. Smoot's specialties include cardiomyopathy, cardiovascular genetics and heart transplantation. Her research focuses on the genetics of Congenital Cardiovascular Disease and holds her Academic Appointment as Instructor at Harvard Medical School.

Tajinder (T.P.) Singh, MD
Dr. Singh joined the Cardiovascular and Heart Transplant Program in 2005. He was previously Medical Director of the Heart Transplant Program at Children's Hospital of Michigan from 1998-2005. He is a physician-scientist-teacher with area of excellence in Clinical Expertise and Innovation. He is passionate about improving survival and quality of life in children with heart failure and heart transplantation. He is a clinical researcher with interest in (1) outcomes in children with heart failure and transplant, and (2) cardiovascular physiology (exercise physiology, cardiac innervation, vascular physiology, myocardial metabolism) in children with congenital and acquired heart disease. He has published several studies describing risk factors of mortality in children while waiting and after transplant.  Dr. Singh holds an academic appointment as Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.

Kevin Daly, MD
Dr. Daly is a board-certified pediatric cardiologist with specialties in heart failure and cardiac transplantation. His clinical expertise lies in the evaluation and management of children with advanced heart failure—those requiring mechanical circulatory support—as well as the care of children following heart transplantation. As a researcher, his interests focus on finding new, noninvasive ways to diagnose and monitor children with cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV). He holds the position of Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Cardiac Inpatient Unit, Cardiology Outpatient Services, Cardiomyopathy Program and Heart Transplant Program teams.

Christina J. VanderPluym, MD
Dr. VanderPluym serves at the medical director for the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program, in which mechanical pumps provide mechanical circulatory support for children with end-stage heart disease. Modes of support include Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) and Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs), including the Berlin Heart® Excor®, Rotaflow®, Abiomed® Impella®, HeartWare® Ventricular Assist System and Syncardia Total Artificial Heart. Dr. VanderPluym is passionate about tailoring cardiac support strategies to suit the unique anatomic and physiological needs of each child. She is an instructor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.


Care team


Nurse coordinators

Heather Bastardi, RN, MSN, CPNP
Heather Bastardi graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Nursing in 1993. She initially worked as a registered nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit at New York Hospital in New York City. She went on to complete a Master's degree in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania in 1996. Heather joined the Heart Transplant Program at Boston Children's in 1997 as a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Shay Dillis, RN, MSN, CPNP
Shay Dillis graduated from Providence College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 1994. She went on to complete her Master's degree in Nursing in 1998.  She has been a registered nurse since 1997 and has worked at Boston Children's Hospital since 1998. Shay has spent the majority of her years at Boston Children's working in both the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and the Cardiology Clinic before joining the Heart Transplant team as a pediatric nurse practitioner in 2006.

Elizabeth Kehoe, BSN

Beth Miller, RN, BSN


Jennifer Gilarde, PharmD
Jennifer received her Doctor of Pharmacy from Auburn University School of Pharmacy and completed both a pharmacy practice residency and pediatric specialty residency at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Jennifer joined Children’s in 2005, where she worked as a Staff Pharmacist II and supported our transplant programs in her spare time. Jennifer became a full-time member of the Pediatric Transplant Team in 2007.


Catharine Thompson, MS, RD, LDN

Psychiatrists and psychologists

Patricia Ibeziako, MD
Pediatric Psychiatrist
Dr. Ibeziako completed her residency at Maimonides Medical Center in New York, New York and fellowship here at Children’s. Dr. Ibeziako is currently an attending in the Department of Psychiatry.

Kristine McKenna, PhD
Pediatric Psychologist
Dr. Kristine McKenna joined the Pediatric Transplant Center in the role of Transplant Psychologist in 2011.  She completed her post-doctoral psychology fellowship at Nationwide Children's Hospital (formerly Columbus Children's Hospital) in 2007 and is currently an Assistant in Psychology at Children’s Hospital Boston and Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. McKenna is responsible for teaching and supervising psychology interns and fellows, as well as psychiatry fellows, as part of her academic appointment. Her research focuses on quality of life, adherence issues, and pain management for children, adolescents and young adults.

Social workers

Catherine D'Arpino-Clark, MSW, LICSW

Paula Wood, MSW, LICSW

Financial coordinator

Angela Perry
Angie has been a part of the Pediatric Transplant Center since October 2012. Angie brings more than six years of experience as a transplant financial coordinator. She works closely with patients and families to help navigate through the mazes of insurance information and assists with applying for financial assistance. From the time of the first transplant evaluation all the way through to the post-transplant stage, Angie continuously offers assistance for families who need additional insurance or funds from other financial sources.



Infectious Disease team


Sandra K. Burchett, MD, MSc
Pediatric Transplant Center Infectious Disease Physician
Dr. Burchett completed her residency at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas and MSc at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She completed her fellowship at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. She currently serves as the Clinical Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases.

Lynne Lewis, RN, MS, CPNP
Pediatric Transplant Center Infectious Disease Nurse Practitioner
Lynne Lewis received her Master of Science degree as a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist as well as completed the Post Master Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Certificate Program at the SUNY Health Science Center College of Nursing in Syracuse, New York. She serves as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner for both immunocompetent and immunocompromised (HIV/AIDS/transplant recipients) patients in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s.

Julia R. Koehler, MD
Infectious Disease Physician
Dr. Koehler completed both her residency and fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital. She is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases, her specialties include fungal infections, infections in immunocompromised children and pediatric infectious diseases.  Dr. Koehler’s research activities include studies on Molecular Pathogenesis of Candida Infections.

Catherine S. Lachenauer, MD
Infectious Disease Physician
Dr. Lachenauer serves as the Director of the Infectious Diseases Outpatient Practice at Boston Children's Hospital.  She completed her internship and residency at Wyler Children's Hospital in Chicago, prior to her fellowship at Boston Children's Hospital.  Dr. Lachenauer’s academic appointment is as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Grace M. Lee, MD, MPH
Infectious Disease Physician
Dr. Lee completed her internship, residency and fellowship all at Boston Children's Hospital after completing medical school at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her specialties include infection control and prevention, infections in immunocompromised children, pediatric health services research, pediatric infectious diseases and vaccine-preventable disease.  Dr. Lee also holds an academic appointment as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Ofer Levy, MD, PhD
Infectious Disease Physician
Dr. Levy's clinical specialties include bacterial infections, infections in immunocompromised children, neonatal infections and pediatric infectious diseases.  Dr. Levy is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases and holds an academic appointment as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

Tanvi S. Sharma, MD
Infectious Disease Physician
Dr. Sharma joined the Infectious Disease team at Boston Children's Hospital in 2007.  Her clinical focus is on infections in immunocompromised hosts, and her research is in metabolic complications in children with perinatal HIV infection.  Dr. Sharma is also the Program Director for the pediatric infectious diseases fellowship training program.  Dr. Sharma attended medical school at the University of Miami School of Medicine.


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