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The Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) has awarded the UNC Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Program the status of an Accredited Comprehensive Care Center. As an accredited center, UNC will be able to better serve the congenital heart disease community.

Due to the advancement of pediatric cardiac surgeries and invasive procedures, patients born with congenital heart disease are living well into adulthood. As of 2004, the number of adults with congenital heart disease outnumber the number of children. As the patients age, they require highly specialized cardiac care and proper coordination with their primary care and other specialty providers.

UNC’s ACHD Program joins 50 other programs, in 26 states, who are standardizing and enhancing the quality of care for these patients throughout the country. Mirnela Byku, MD, PhD, MBA, is the program’s medical director and Lunise Benjamin, DNP, NP-c, serves as the program director and nurse practitioner.

Accreditation from the ACHA means that UNC has met ‘a concrete set of criteria’ as outlined by the ACHD Medical Advisory board and Steering Committee.  The criteria included personnel requirements, onsite access to specialized equipment, the ability to offer specific medical services, and the creation of numerous policies and procedures.

The ACHD program also established partnerships with UNC physicians in multiple specialty departments, such as Maternal-Fetal-Medicine, Pediatric Cardiology, Radiology and Pulmonology. With this creation of standardization here at UNC, ACHD patients in North Carolina have access to complete care by providers knowledgeable of their complex disease process.

UNC’s ACHD Program provides holistic, specialized care for older teens and adults who are living with congenital heart disease. The team includes specially trained board-certified ACHD cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, advanced practice providers, nurses, and technicians. Learn more about the UNC Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program.