ACHA Launches National Accreditation Program

Posted Thursday, Sep 14, 2017

Eleven Centers Throughout United States First to Earn ACHA Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Accreditation

Individuals with congenital heart disease (CHD), the most common birth defect diagnosed in one in 100 births, are living longer. In fact, there are now 1.4 million adults in the U.S., more than children, currently living with one of the many different types of congenital heart defects that range among simple, moderate, and complex. To better serve this population, the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA), the only organization in the country that specifically serves adults with CHD, announced the launch of the ACHA Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) accreditation program. This accreditation program will provide a community of support and network of experts with knowledge of the disease. To date, 11 centers have earned the ACHA ACHD Accredited Comprehensive Care Center designation: 

  • Ahmanson/UCLA Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Adult Congenital Heart Program, Stanford University (Palo Alto, CA)
  • Colorado Adult and Teen Congenital Heart (CATCH) Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado Hospital (Aurora, CO)
  • Boston Adult Congenital Heart (BACH) and Pulmonary Hypertension Program (Boston, MA)
  • University of Michigan Adult Congenital Heart Program (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Washington University Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program (St. Louis, MO)
  • Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine (Omaha, NE)
  • Cincinnati Children's Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program (CCHMC) (Cincinnati, OH)
  • COACH: Columbus Ohio Adult Congenital Heart Disease & Pulmonary Hypertension Program (Columbus, Ohio)
  • Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at University of Washington & Seattle Children’s Hospital (Seattle, WA)
  • Providence Adult and Teen Congenital Heart Program (PATCH) (Spokane, WA)

Over several years, ACHA worked with doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and ACHD patients to define and vet the criteria for accreditation, which includes medical services and personnel requirements, and create a rigorous accreditation process

“Accreditation will elevate the standard of care and have a positive impact on the futures of those living with this disease,” said Mark Roeder, President and CEO of ACHA. “Coordination of care is key, and this accreditation program will make care more streamlined for ACHD patients, improving their quality of life.” 

Treatment options frequently change and, of the adults living with CHD, fewer than 10% see an ACHD cardiologist who specializes in adult care.

“We’re standardizing and enhancing the quality of care for adult CHD patients throughout the country,” Roeder added. 

ACHA works to empower the ACHD community with education and expertise to enable the transition between pediatric and adult congenital heart disease care, ultimately helping patients thrive and live longer lives. 

“I have patients who won’t travel because they are nervous about receiving care away from home,” added Curt Daniels, MD, Chair of the ACHA Medical Advisory Board. “This network will help solve that issue, because I can now contact an accredited center when my patient is in the area, should a need for care arise.” 

In addition to the accredited centers, there are eight (8) organizations currently going through the ACHA ACHD Accreditation process including submitting a completed application and site visit prior to 6/1/17:

  • Connecticut Adult Congenital Heart (CTACH) Service (Hartford, CT)
  • Adult Congenital Cardiology Clinic at the University of Florida Jacksonville Pediatric Cardiovascular Center (Jacksonville, FL)
  • NYU Langone Medical Center Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program (New York, NY)
  • Medical University of South Carolina Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program  (Charleston, SC)
  • UT Southwestern and Children's Health Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program (Dallas, TX)
  • Texas Children’s Hospital Adult Congenital Heart Program (Houston TX)
  • UW Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program (Madison, WI)
  • Wisconsin Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program (WAtCH) (Milwaukee, WI)

“By accrediting institutions, we’re encouraging others to meet the criteria,” Roeder concluded. “Because patients are now living longer, there is a need to understand how to treat individuals with typical ailments associated with aging, along with CHD. Accreditation will ultimately help providers understand what patients need, and patients understand what they are getting in terms of care to deliver patient-centered care.” 


The ACHA ACHD Accreditation Program was partially funded by Actelion Pharmaceuticals U.S., Inc. ACHA and Actelion Pharmaceuticals have partnered together since 2007 to support the CHD community.

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