Dr. Frank Pigula Joins Children’s Hospital New Orleans as Chief of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery, Co-Director of Heart Center

Children’s Hospital New Orleans announced that Frank Pigula, MD, will serve as chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. Pigula’s extensive background includes 12 years as clinical director of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, the #1 ranked children’s hospital in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Pigula has also held leadership positions in cardiac surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Norton Children’s (formerly Kosair Children’s), and most recently at AdventHealth Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Fla.

Pigula will serve as co-director of the Heart Center at Children’s Hospital, alongside Dr. Thomas Kimball, chief of pediatric cardiology. Kimball joined Children’s Hospital in 2019 from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital--the # 3 ranked children’s hospital by U.S. News & World Report--where he was medical director of cardiology.

“The growth of our Heart Center team has positioned Children’s Hospital New Orleans to expand specialized pediatric cardiology services for children and families across the State of Louisiana and the Gulf South” says John R. Nickens IV, president and chief executive officer at Children’s Hospital New Orleans. “Dr. Pigula will bring a level of experience and expertise in congenital heart surgery that is unmatched in our region.”

The addition of new world-class talent and expertise to the Heart Center at Children’s Hospital, amplifying  the existing team of expert cardiac specialists, is paralleled by the Heart Center’s physical transformation, which includes a new, expansive 28-bed Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU), state-of-the-art operating rooms, two advanced cardiac catheterization labs, and the expansion of satellite pediatric cardiology clinics across the State of Louisiana. 

Over the last two years, the Heart Center at Children’s Hospital has expanded from 11 to 22 physicians, along with seven new advanced practice providers and a 50 percent increase in clinical nursing support staff. The recruitment of additional pediatric heart specialists from some of the nation’s top children’s hospitals includes a coronary artery disease specialist, two perfusionists, two cardiac intensivists, a heart failure specialist, an additional electrophysiologist and board-certified adult congenital cardiologist, and a fetal echocardiographer.

“It takes a village to care for our congenital heart patients, and we are adding one of the nation’s best to our village here at Children’s Hospital New Orleans,” said Thomas Kimball, MD, chief of pediatric cardiology and co-director of the Heart Center at Children’s Hospital New Orleans. “The addition of Dr. Pigula to our team will amplify the best in class care we are already providing. We have built a team here at Children’s Hospital that rivals the best pediatric programs in the country.”

After completing a residency in surgery at the University of Vermont, Pigula completed fellowships in cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital. He is the author of more than 140 peer reviewed articles and 25 book chapters and invited reviews.