Published on: 06/02/2010
Miami, FL -- Pediatric and adult congenital heart patients in Orlando are benefiting from a new telemedicine connection that is making cardiac MRI services more accessible to patients. Thanks to specialized MRI software, and voice and video internet connections between the two campuses of the Congenital Heart Institute at Miami Children’s Hospital and Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children– referred to as “one program at two locations” – patients at the Orlando campus now have ready access to cardiac MRI expertise.
Prior to the connection, Dr. Ruchira Garg, one of a small but growing number of cardiac MRI specialists nationwide, traveled monthly to Orlando to perform cardiac MRIs. Now, patients can have the procedures scheduled as needed rather than wait for Dr. Garg’s monthly visits. Dr. Garg scans patients and directs on-site technical staff in Orlando through the internet connection, then relays essential results to the managing cardiologists and surgeons in Orlando.
“As more and more children born with heart defects survive and thrive, thanks to interventional advancements, the need for cardiac MRI continues to grow,” said Dr. Garg. “Early in a patient’s care, echocardiography is the gold standard to assess heart anatomy and function. After multiple surgeries and repairs, scar tissue often makes it more difficult to obtain diagnostic echocardiographic images. For these patients, cardiac MRI is usually the best method for evaluating heart anatomy and function,” said Dr. Garg.
Dr. Garg is a pediatric cardiologist who joined the Miami Children’s Hospital Congenital Heart Institute in 2006 to establish the Cardiac MRI program. She is specifically trained in noninvasive imaging, including the techniques and interpretation of congenital cardiac MRI. Dr. Garg comes to Miami from The Children’s Hospital, Denver, where she successfully established a Congenital Cardiac MRI program. Dr. Garg also serves as the co-director of the Echocardiography Laboratory, where she performs fetal echocardiograms to diagnose fetal heart disease.
Dr. Garg earned her medical degree at the Medical College of Pennsylvania; she then completed her internship and residency in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University. She completed her pediatric cardiology training at Columbus Children’s Hospital (now Nationwide Children’s Hospital), followed by an additional year of fellowship in noninvasive imaging at Children’s Hospital Boston. Dr. Garg is a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics and Sub-Board of Pediatric Cardiology, and a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.
ABOUT ARNOLD PALMER HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN
Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, supported by the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation, is a 158-bed facility dedicated exclusively to the needs of children. Located in Orlando, Arnold Palmer Hospital provides expertise in pediatric specialties such as cardiac care, craniomaxillofacial surgery, emergency and trauma care, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, oncology, orthopedics, pulmonology and sports medicine. Visit www.arnoldpalmerhospital.com to learn more about all of our specialties.
ABOUT MIAMI CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International, Miami Children's Hospital® is South Florida’s only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with more than 650 attending physicians and over 130 pediatric sub-specialists. The 289-bed hospital is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine with several specialty programs ranked among the best in the nation in 2008 and 2009 by U.S.News & World Report. The hospital is also home to the largest pediatric teaching program in the southeastern United States and has been designated an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet facility, the nursing profession’s most prestigious institutional honor.