Brigham Research

Leading the charge in Peripartum Cardiomyopathy research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is Michael Givertz, MD, who oversees the clinical care and research programs dedicated to PPCM patients. Building on decades of discovery, innovation, and unparalleled care in cardiovascular and maternal-fetal medicine, Dr. Givertz and his colleagues are well positioned to advance the understanding of PPCM, paving the way for the development of better treatment approaches. With your support, Dr. Givertz is be able to better identify and follow women with PPCM over time—collecting, storing, and analyzing the critical clinical data that could hold the key to helping unlock the mysteries behind this disease. This rich pool of data will be mined for key patterns, insights, and new discoveries, and help establish BWH as a leader in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of PPCM.

Sisters@Heart founder Jamie O’Hanlon, along with her daughters Scarlett and Finnley, present the check to Dr. Rahul Rathod.

Boston Children’s Hospital Donation

An excerpt from Dr. Rahul Rathod’s letter to Sisters at Heart on his planned use of our donation for his research project. Here he references Jamie O’Hanlon’s daughter, Scarlett. Dr. Rathod is an attending physician in the department of Cardiology at Children’s Hospital Boston and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard University.

“I just wanted to say thank you again for your generous donation. As I mentioned Friday, I am always humbled when parents who already have so much going on in their lives make this kind of effort to help further research. I have been giving this a lot of thought, but I wanted to get your thoughts on how best to use the money. As you know, Scarlett’s defect is pulmonary atresia with Intact Ventricular Septum (PA/IVS). Because Scarlett’s tricuspid valve and right ventricle were near normal size at birth we were able to open her pulmonary valve in the cath lab and she has done very well since. Many kids with PA/IVS will have a small tricuspid valve and/or right ventricle. This makes that side of the heart unusable and the kids have to be treated as having a single ventricle (instead of two ventricles). This requires a dramatically different approach and these kids need at least three surgeries in the first couple years of life. That last surgery is called the Fontan operation. A lot of my research is focused on how to risk stratify these ‘Fontan’ patients (using imaging) in order to help identify the ones who need earlier intervention and keep them healthy in the long run. It’s a long road and these patients have numerous complications. The problem with most studies (including ours) is that they are single center studies with not enough patients. The only way we can learn more about this population is to collaborate and join forces with other centers. Towards this goal, I have led an effort to develop an international Fontan registry. We are calling it the “Fontan Outcomes Registry using CMR Examinations” (FORCE) study. I have assembled a leadership group that includes members from CHOP, Texas Children’s, Univ of Michigan, Toronto Sick Kids, and Nationwide Children’s. We have an additional 12 centers in North America and Europe who have said they want to participate. This will be the largest Fontan imaging registry of its kind and will help us leapfrog our understanding of how to take care of these patients. Obviously, this is a large and ambitious effort that has a lot of financial needs. With your permission, I would like to use your donations to support this effort… Thank you again. Your efforts really do inspire me to work harder.”

Dr. Rahul Rathod