UK HealthCare

‘UK at the Half’: KCH, Cincinnati Children’s Joint Pediatric Heart Program

Faye DeMastes visits with pediatric cardiologist Callie Rzasa, M.D. At just 6 months old, Faye underwent open heart surgery to correct a series of defects in her heart. Arden Barnes | UK Photo
Faye DeMastes visits with pediatric cardiologist Callie Rzasa, M.D. At just 6 months old, Faye underwent open heart surgery to correct a series of defects in her heart. Arden Barnes | UK Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 6, 2022) — A collaboration between Kentucky Children’s Hospital and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center brings together the expertise of Kentucky’s top hospital and one of the country’s best children’s hospitals to create one of the top pediatric heart programs in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.

In this “UK at the Half,” UK Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Carl Backer, M.D., discusses the collaboration, known as the Joint Pediatric and Congenital Heart Program. Backer is the director of the program, an innovative one-program, two-sites model that allows pediatric cardiology experts and a team of pediatric heart surgeons at Kentucky Children’s Hospital to benefit from the support of other pediatric heart specialists at Cincinnati Children’s to provide a full spectrum of children’s cardiology services.

Now in its fifth year, this collaboration provides Kentucky families with the reassurance of knowing they have access to exceptional heart treatment for children close to home.

“UK at the Half” airs during halftime of each UK football and basketball game broadcast on radio and is hosted by UK Public Relations and Marketing. To hear the “UK at the Half” interview, click on the play button above.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $501 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.