Dr. Karl Reyes New Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, home to Tampa Bay’s only comprehensive congenital heart disease program, proudly welcomes Karl Reyes, M.D., as its new chief of pediatric cardiac surgery.

Dr. Reyes will work closely with hospital physicians, leadership and staff to ensure that the pediatric cardiac team continues to achieve the highest standards of safety and quality. The team’s surgical outcomes already exceed national benchmarks as reported by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

“We believe that low mortality and a short length of stay are cornerstones of the program quality,” said St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital President Sarah Naumowich. “Dr. Reyes’ extensive experience as a cardiac surgeon and the compassion he has for his patients make him an excellent addition to our multidisciplinary team. He will help lead us to even greater accomplishments and growth.”

Dr. Reyes was eager to join the St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital pediatric and congenital heart program.

“I am impressed with how the team of cardiologists, surgeons, intensivists and anesthesiologists work in such close collaboration to make all significant patient care decisions. This is a time-tested model that has been shown to deliver the best outcomes and gives patients and their families a very special experience,” Reyes said.

Dr. Reyes adds that he’s also excited about St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital’s partnership with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, which has one of the country’s best congenital heart programs according to U.S. News and World Report rankings.

“Together, we can take this program to an even greater level and provide the best care possible for patients with congenital heart disease in the Tampa Bay region and beyond.”

Dr. Reyes comes to Tampa from the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, Texas where he served as an associate professor of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine. Prior to that, he worked at the UF Health Congenital Heart Center and served as an associate professor of surgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine.

Dr. Reyes also worked in his home country the Philippines prior to returning to the United States. He served as the head of Congenital Heart Surgery at St. Luke’s Medical Center and was instrumental in the organization of the St. Luke’s Center for Congenital Heart Disease, making it one of the country’s premier programs. Dr. Reyes and his team were first in the Philippines to successfully perform cardiac surgery for hypoplastic left heart syndrome, and to perform hybrid cardiac procedures such as intraoperative stenting and periventricular device closure for muscular ventricular septal defects. He was also responsible for deployment of the Philippines’ first Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) program.

Dr. Reyes graduated with honors from the University of the East College of Medicine in Quezon City, Philippines. His post-doctoral training included clinical fellowships at the Cleveland Clinic in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery and at Boston Children’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School in congenital cardiovascular surgery. In his last year, Dr. Reyes was chief fellow at the Cleveland Clinic and Boston Children’s Hospital.

In addition to his work, Dr. Reyes co-founded The Operation Heart Foundation which is a charitable organization that provides free care for infants and children with congenital heart disease in the Philippines. He also volunteers with Gift of Life International.

Dr. Reyes has extensive experience in treating patients with complex congenital heart defects in neonates, infants, children, and adults. His expertise includes neonatal heart surgery, repairing heart valves, single ventricle physiology, tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia, and adult congenital heart disease.

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital is excited about the experience, passion and enthusiasm Dr. Reyes brings to its pediatric cardiac program.

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