When Dr. Marla Kiess founded the Pacific Adult Congenital Heart (PACH) clinic in 1988, a minority of children born with congenital heart defects survived to adulthood. But thanks to medical advances, better surgical techniques, and interventional cardiology, the share of patients who go on to live full adult lives now exceeds 90 per cent.
They still need specialized support, though, as the majority of these patients require lifelong cardiac-focused medical care and repeat cardiac surgery or interventional procedures. As a result, the number of patients from around BC that PACH serves has soared past 3,000.
The clinic, housed at St. Paul’s since 1993, brings together a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, psychologists, and social workers to care for patients 18 years and older with congenital heart disease. This team approach, pioneered at the PACH Clinic, is integral to optimizing the health of this complex patient population. PACH marked its 30th anniversary with a celebration on Sept. 28, 2018.