A Tribute to Dr. Gary Webb, Longtime ACHA Supporter and ACHD Pioneer

Posted Friday, Oct 22, 2021

We mourn the recent loss of Gary D. Webb, MD, an internationally recognized leader in adult congenital heart disease (ACHD), and avid ACHA supporter and champion for the patient voice. Dr. Webb provided leadership and advice for more than two decades as a valued member of both the ACHA Medical Advisory Board and ACHA Emeritus Medical Advisory Board. He served as the keynote speaker at the very first ACHA National Conference in Boston in 2000 and presented several patient webinars over the years. Dr. Webb was a supporter of the ACHA ACHD Clinic Directory, recognized the importance of and was involved in creating ACHA ACHD Program Accreditation, and shared the voice of ACHA on the Congenital Heart International Professionals (CHiP) network.

Dr. Webb chaired the ACHA Vision 2020 Forum in Boston in 2009, which “engaged conference attendees and invited patient and family leaders in discussing how best to move forward certification, regionalization, business development, and training to accelerate the development of a quality ACHD care system nationwide.” In a letter of acceptance to the forum, titled “ACHA 09: Building the Future of ACHD NOW,” he shared: “It is very appropriate that this meeting is being held under the auspice is of the Adult Congenital Heart Association. This group and its leadership are highly respected in the ACHD community in the USA. Its ‘neutral’ leadership has been central to past successes and will continue to be extremely important going forward.”

As program director of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic in the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at the University Health Network in Toronto, ON, Canada, from 1986 to 2004, Dr. Webb transformed the program into an international hub for ACHD patients and experts. In 2004, he left Toronto to become the director of the Philadelphia Adult Congenital Heart Center at the University of Pennsylvania where he stayed until 2009. From 2009-2016, Dr. Webb was the Director of the Adult Congenital Heart Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Heart Institute.

While at Cincinnati, Dr. Webb created the ACHD Learning Center and the Cardiology Fellow Testing Center. Both are now part of Heart University. In 2014, he launched the Congenital Heart International Professionals (ChiP) Network and remained its editor-in-chief until his passing. In 2017, Dr. Webb returned to Toronto as a consultant at the Toronto Congenital Cardiac Centre for Adults.

Dr. Webb was past president of the international Society for Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ISACHD) and the Canadian Adult Congenital Heart (CACH) Network. He co-chaired the “32nd Bethesda Conference: Care of the Adult with Congenital Heart Disease” in 2000, which addressed the needs of adults living with heart defects. Dr. Webb also served on the writing committee of the ACC/AHA 2008 Guidelines for the Management of Adults with Congenital Heart Disease, as well as authoring many other manuscripts. 

We are forever grateful to Dr. Webb for his dedication to ACHA and the CHD community.