NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)– The Ochsner Hospital for Children received a generous gift from The Nathanson Family Foundation to help with the expansion of their Congenital Heart Defect Program.

The program lead by congenital cardiac surgeon Dr. Benjamin B. Peeler, help families navigate the journey of a Congenital Heart Defect in a child, by providing support as they transition from critical to intermediate step-down unit and expanding in-home monitoring.

Along with a team of internationally renowned pediatric experts, Dr. Peeler offers one of the most comprehensive programs in the gulf region further setting in stone Ochsner’s reputation as the premier destination for pediatric cardiac care across the Gulf South.

“The Nathanson family believes in the sanctity of life. We cannot think of a better need than the Ochsner Children’s Congenital Heart Defect Program led by Doctor Benjamin Peeler and his nationally renowned team. This program addresses the congenital heart needs for the most vulnerable of the Gulf Coast region, our children,” said Steve Nathanson. “Our gift further promotes the Ochsner Health goal of moving Louisiana from the 49th least healthy state in the country to the 40th position or higher by 2030. Our family looks forward to providing the resources needed to make Ochsner Health Children’s Congenital Heart Defect Program one of the top centers in the country.”

For four years, Ochsner’s surgical outcomes exceeded national averages for congenital heart surgery by providing advanced technologies and treatments for patients such as: single ventricle repair with the Norwood procedure, valvular repair, ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation and heart transplants.

The donation will also expand the Fetal Cardiology Clinic at Ochsner Baptist.