Capital District Pediatric Cardiology Associates had its origins in 1966 when Dr. Reda Shaher was recruited to form the Section of Pediatric Cardiology at Albany Medical Center and Albany Medical College. He was joined by Dr. Matthew Farina in 1975 and Dr. Eric Spooner in 1977. This group established the pediatric cardiology, pediatric cardiac catheterization, echocardiography, and pediatric cardiac surgery programs in Albany.
In 1980, our practice transitioned from the full time faculty at Albany Medical College to a hybrid practice model, organized privately from the College but maintaining our full time involvement in teaching and clinical hospital responsibilities. Since 1996, Capital District Pediatric Cardiology has grown from three to our current five physician staff, all board certified in pediatric cardiology. This growth has allowed for the establishment of outreach clinics in Glens Falls, Kingston, Cooperstown, and Rhinebeck.
Our abilities in the area of diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterization were expanded through the efforts of Dr. Harm Velvis, who joined us in 1996. Our abilities to care for adults with congenital heart disease were enhanced by the recruitment of Dr. Robin Doyle, who joined us in 2007, and who has board certification in both adult internal medicine and pediatrics. His additional training in cardiac MRI allowed him to initiate a program of MRI imaging which has improved our diagnostic capabilities.
Our program of fetal cardiology and fetal echocardiography, started by Dr. Spooner in 1983, has grown with the recruitment of Dr. Steven Kamenir in 2001, and Dr. Michael Colon in 2010. We have established close ties with obstetricians, perinatologists, and genetic counselors to provide a team approach to the delivery of care to the unborn child. Our abilities to deliver the highest-quality surgical care for our patients with congenital heart disease were markedly improved with the recruitment of Dr. Neil Devejian in 2000 to Albany Medical Center. Led by Dr. Devejian, together with our group and the physicians and nurses in anesthesia, pediatric intensive care, and neonatal intensive care, we have built a strong surgical program for congenital heart disease at Albany Medical Center. The New York State Health Department in 2007 and 2011 released reports which showed that our program has the lowest risk-adjusted mortality rate in New York State.
Over the last four decades, Capital District Pediatric Cardiology Associates has grown with the exceptional advances made in the field of pediatric cardiology. We now routinely accomplish things that were only dreamt of back then, and our patients are living happy, productive lives with an excellent outlook for the future. We are confident that our abilities and programs will continue to improve and allow us to continue providing the best quality care for children and adults with congenital heart disease in Upstate New York.