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Johns Hopkins All Children’s plans to restart Heart Institute

Margie Manning

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A cardiothoracic surgeon who worked for 26 years at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is returning to the hospital to lead the Heart Institute.

Dr. James Quintessenza, the former medical director and chief of pediatric cardiac surgery at the St. Petersburg pediatric hospital, left All Children’s in 2016. Since then, the hospital has been cited and fined for regulatory violations, and suspended activities at Heart Institute in the wake of a rise in patient deaths.

The loss of clinical revenue from the Heart Institute cut into income for fiscal year 2019 at both Johns Hopkins All Children’s and Johns Hopkins Health System, according to an Aug. 29 report from Johns Hopkins Health System Corp. and affiliates.

Dr. James Quintessenza

A team of national experts in pediatric heart programs, led by Dr. Bill Greeley, began work in January to determine the resources required and an appropriate timeline to restart the program safely and with a commitment to excellence, a news release from All Children’s said. Over the summer, the hospital board reviewed and endorsed their recommendations, and began a national search to recruit a new leader for the Heart Institute.

Quintessenza’s return marks the first step in a phased process to restart the Heart Institute. Over the coming year, the hospital said it will recruit additional doctors and staff, including for intensive care and pediatric, interventional and fetal cardiology. Greeley will serve as deputy director of the Heart Institute during the transition and restart period.

“I am delighted to be returning home to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, a remarkable institution where I was proud to serve for more than 25 years,” Quintessenza said in the news release. “I look forward to working with Dr. Greeley and the dedicated staff and experts of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital as we take steps over the coming months to restart the Heart Institute with the commitment to excellence that is the hallmark of this institution.”

After leaving All Children’s, Quintessenza worked as chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Kentucky Children’s hospital and held a faculty appointment at Cincinnati Children’s hospital. Greeley built and developed cardiovascular programs at Duke University Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“Over the last year, my team and I conducted a thorough and comprehensive clinical review of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Heart Institute,” Greeley said in the news release. “Following this review, I can unequivocally say that this is a program worth investing in to make sure that it can serve the children and families of Tampa Bay with the highest quality pediatric cardiac care. I look forward to working with Dr. Quintessenza and the hospital’s leadership as we move forward with implementing the recommendations of our team.”

Quintessenza will join the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital on Feb. 15, 2020.

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