The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is a research program with the goal of delaying or preventing heart failure for individuals with HLHS.

To learn more or to participate, please visit our website or contact HLHS@mayo.edu.

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Jan 30, 2015

New Pediatric Heart Surgeon Joins the HLHS Team

By Suzanne R. Ferguson, @suzannerferguson

We are excited to announce that Dr. Bassem Mora recently joined Mayo Clinic as a Senior Associate Consultant in MORA Bassem (2)the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery specializing in congenital heart defects for both pediatrics and adolescents. Dr. Mora took some time out of his busy schedule to sit down with a team member from the HLHS program to discuss his new role here at Mayo Clinic and to provide our readers with an introduction.

To start things off, Dr. Mora shared his main reason for joining the Mayo Clinic team. “So, the biggest pull was the colleagues that I would be working with; the outstanding physicians in medicine and pediatrics and not just the physicians but the nurses, respiratory therapists, and everyone else that is part of the team. Mayo Clinic is a prestigious institution, and that certainly was a big draw as well.”

After attending college at California Institute of Technology, Dr. Mora pursued a career in medicine at the University of California San Francisco. During his time there, he received an in-depth look at pediatric heart surgery from his mentor and soon realized this field was his true passion. From San Francisco, Dr. Mora did his general surgery internship and residency at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri where he also obtained an MBA. Dr. Mora then joined Harvard Medical School and completed a cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. During this time, he also worked at Boston Children’s Hospital in the pediatric cardiac surgery division. In 2005, Dr. Mora left Boston and continued his work in pediatric heart surgery in both Washington, D.C. and Chicago. Most recently, Dr. Mora has served on the clinical staff of Cleveland Clinic and at a hospital the Cleveland Clinic oversees in Abu Dhabi.

As an HLHS surgeon, Dr. Mora will be using a team approach in his clinical work in addition to his clinical research. “Dr. Dearani and I will be working together and operating together on patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome doing the Norwood procedure and doing the staged reconstruction afterward. We will be working very closely together, and I think having two surgeons operating together is much better than having one surgeon operating alone. You have two experienced sets of eyes looking at the same problem, seeing how to give the best outcomes for the patients,” said Dr. Mora.

Dr. Mora also brings a unique technique to the Norwood Procedure for hypoplastic left heart syndrome patients. During the Norwood Procedure, surgeons reconstruct both the heart and the blood vessels that leave the heart and go to the brain. In order to reconstruct the vessels, surgeons must stop the circulation to the brain during the procedure. Dr. Mora’s technique keeps the heart beating and the circulation to the brain going for the longest possible period of time to ensure the best possible outcome for the patients.

As an avid traveler, both nationally and abroad, Dr. Mora’s favorite place to visit in the United States is Napa Valley. Picking a favorite place abroad is trickier but, “anyplace where you experience Mother Nature and especially if there is water and mountains, well that is just beautiful,” Dr. Mora shared. In his spare time, Dr. Mora tries to get to the gym, a key to maintaining a healthy heart.

We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Mora to the HLHS team at Mayo!



The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) is a collaborative network of specialists bonded by the vision of delaying or preventing heart failure for individuals affected by congenital heart defects including HLHS. The specialized team is addressing the various aspects of these defects by using research and clinical strategies ranging from basic science, to diagnostic imaging to regenerative therapies.

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