NEW YORK – A landmark grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to the Pediatric Heart Center at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore supports the launch of the John H. Gutfreund Fetal Heart Program at the Montefiore Hutchinson Campus. The center offers the latest in imaging technology to evaluate the fetal heart in a state-of-the art, welcoming space designed to provide advanced cardiac care to pregnant women and their families.
In memory of Gutfreund, who served on the Board of Trustees at Montefiore, SNF has given a $1 million gift to the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) that enables a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, obstetricians, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, neonatologists, quality in life specialists, advanced nurse practitioners, social workers, and child life specialists, to provide the highest level of fetal cardiac care from the earliest time of diagnosis, typically during the second trimester of pregnancy. The program also offers complete heart care for expectant mothers with serious health conditions such as diabetes, lupus and other diseases that can affect the heart development of the fetus.
“The heart is the first organ that functions in humans, beating spontaneously by week four of development,” said the Program’s Director and also Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Nadine Choueiter. “Pregnancy can be a time of great worry and stress for expectant mothers so we aim to diagnose babies with complex heart disease at the earliest possible time and reassure families by educating them and planning the best care, in a calm and comfortable setting, before the baby is born.”
“My family and I are thrilled by the opening of the John H. Gutfreund Fetal Heart Program at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore,” said J.P. Gutfreund, son of John Gutfreund and current trustee of Montefiore. “In my father’s more than five decades of devoted board service to Montefiore, CHAM was always a part of the organization that held a special meaning to him. I know he would have been a great supporter of the amazing work that will be done at this center by Dr. Hsu, Dr. Peek, Dr. Choueiter and their team. This facility is made even more special by having been granted by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The Niarchos family is a longtime and close friend of ours, and we are incredibly touched by this generous gift. We look forward to all the positive outcomes and support that will be delivered by this center.”
“The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is proud to honor the memory of our good friend, and also support a cutting-edge and essential service at Montefiore Medical Center,” said co-President Andreas C. Dracopoulos. “John Gutfreund’s dedication and commitment to this community to facilitate greater access to high quality health care is an inspiration, and we are proud to honor his legacy through support for this innovative program.”