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Cardiology

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Herbert Stern, MD is a board certified pediatric cardiologist specializing in congenital heart disease in adults and pediatrics, therapeutic cardiac catheterization with special interests in hybrid (surgical/catheter) procedures; in stroke and migraine patients who have been diagnosed with a patent foramen ovale; congestive heart failure management, patients with single ventricle physiology and pulmonary hypertension.

A medical school graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina, Stern did his pediatric residency at the University of Maryland Medical System. He then completed his pediatric cardiology fellowship at Duke University Medical Center under the mentorship of Dr. Madison Spach. Dr. Stern joined Sanger Clinic in 1990, became the director of the pediatric catheterization laboratory in 1995, and became the director of pediatric cardiology in 2005. He left Sanger in December 2009 to become founder and director of Stern Cardiology, PA in January 2010 (see www.sterncardiology.com).

Dr. Stern brought many innovations in therapeutic heart catheterization to the region and North Carolina, making it possible to treat and/or cure many cardiac abnormalities without open-heart cardiac surgery. He was the region's first cardiologist to perform catheter closure of ductus arteriosus and other abnormal vascular structures; the first to perform endovascular stenting for coarctation of the aorta, and other obstructed vascular structures. He also performed the region's first transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale and closure of atrial septal defect. In August 2006, he performed a transcatheter opening and dilation of an atretic (closed) pulmonary valve in a 1500 gram premature infant, the smallest patient ever reported to undergo this procedure successfully. With the assistance of cardiothoracic surgeons Dr. Stern assisted in the region's first two successful hybrid (surgical/catheter) procedures, which significantly reduce the length and risk of these cardiac operations. The first was performed on an infant with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and the second on an infant with transposition of the great vessels and ventricular septal defect. Dr. Stern has performed over two thousand therapeutic heart catheterizations with a mortality rate less than half the national average.

In August of 2006, Stern launched the first program in the state screening high school athletes for heart defects leading to sudden cardiac death. The successful program has lead to annual free screenings in high school athletes in this region who are at risk. Stern was also active in the pediatric residency training program of Carolina's Medical Center and The Levine Children's Hospital and was awarded the outstanding faculty award for teaching on two occasions.