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  • Norman Shumway preforming the first adult heart transplant at Stanford on January 6, 1968Norman Shumway preforming the first adult heart transplant at Stanford on January 6, 1968
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Pediatric Advanced Cardiac Therapies (PACT) Program

US News - Stanford Children's Health

Our Pediatric Advanced Cardiac Therapies program brings together patients who need diagnostic evaluations, heart failure treatment, ventricular assist device implantation or heart transplantation. As one of the first centers in the nation to have a dedicated pediatric heart transplant program and as one of the first dedicated pediatric heart failure treatment programs, we understand how helpful it is to do everything under one roof. This allows us to focus on treating heart failure early and to delay the need for transplantation, perhaps indefinitely. It also means that if transplantation becomes necessary, we already know your child well. Our Betty Irene Moore Children's Heart Center, which is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report, plays a pivotal role in developing pediatric heart failure and heart transplantation innovations.

Pediatric Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs)

Stanford Children’s Health placed its first pediatric VAD in 1998, and we have operated as a VAD program continuously since that time. Today we are able to support children from infants to adolescents with a variety of VADs that meet the different needs of our diverse population. We have implanted well over 150 children with VADs, including 23 in the past year. We are currently working to expand VAD support to children and young adults with complex forms of heart disease who have previously not been able to receive the benefits of this therapy.

Heart Transplantation

The world’s first successful pediatric heart transplant was performed in 1984 at Stanford Hospital. Since that time, we have been in continuous operation as a pediatric heart transplantation program and have performed over 400 pediatric heart transplants. We perform an average of 15 to 20 heart transplants each year, making us one of the most experienced pediatric heart transplant programs in the nation. In addition, our pediatric heart transplant volumes are among the highest in California. We routinely accept and treat the most complicated patients for transplant, including those with severe congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension. Despite this complexity, our results are outstanding.


The PACT program provides comprehensive care for children and families affected with all types of cardiomyopathy as well as complex congenital heart disease. We collaborate with other Stanford Health Care specialists such as Neuromuscular, Biochemical Genetics, and Oncology teams to treat the continuum of heart failure, from children at risk of cardiomyopathy to those in symptomatic heart failure. Patients and families are cared for by an integrated, multidisciplinary team. 

Learn more about the Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Program >

Meet the Director

David Rosenthal, MDPlay

David Rosenthal, MD

As the director of the Pediatric Advanced Cardiac Therapies program, I provide care to children with heart failure, cardiomyopathy and heart transplantation in a way that emphasizes respect for each child and clear communication with families. We provide innovative treatments for extremely serious illnesses that bring about the very best outcomes.

Meet the team >