A group of Heart Center Clinicians:

-Maureen Abramson, MS, CCLS, Child Life Specialist on 6 East, Cardiology pre-op, and Cardiology general clinic

-Mark Alexander, MD, pediatric cardiologist and electrophysiologist

-Samantha Butler, PhD, developmental psychologist

-Amy Delaney,  RN, MSN, CPNP, nurse practitioner, 8 East

-Tal Geva, MD, pediatric cardiologist and electrophysiologist

-Kate Huyler, MS, CCLS, child life specialist, 8 South

-Jane Newburger, MD, MPH, pediatric cardiologist

-Andy Powell, MD, pediatric cardiologist and cardiac imaging

-Susan Saleeb, MD, pediatric cardiologist

-Lauren Smizer, BS, CCLS, child life specialist, 8 East


What is your role in the Heart Center?

My name is Amy Delaney and I am a pediatric nurse practitioner in the Heart Center. This year, I will have been at Boston Children’s for 22 years. I practice on the inpatient 8 East step down floor unit. I work with nurses and attendings to care for the inpatient cardiac surgical patients.

– Amy Delaney, RN, MSN, CPNP, nurse practitioner , 8 East


I’m Mark Alexander; I’m a pediatric cardiologist. I’ve got a number of different jobs within that role. I’m an electrophysiologist, which means I spend time worrying about arrhythmias. When you worry about people with arrhythmias, you also worry about people with heart palpitations and who either faint or are worried that they may faint; this has evolved into four different groups of people I see a lot of. I see a collection of children with heart disease who have arrhythmias and pacemakers, who have their heart race, who need management, and I see those in fetal life all the way up to adulthood. A lot of the congenital heart disease patients who live into adulthood end up having arrhythmias, and that’s one of the more complicated forms of heart disease. So I see a fair number of adults with congenital heart disease.

– Mark Alexander, MD, pediatric cardiologist and electrophysiologist


My name is Tal Geva. I am currently the the Chief of the Department of Cardiology. I’ve been at Boston Children’s for 22 years. My practice is comprised mostly of patients with complex congenital heart disease, and many of them come from a distance — both nationally and internationally.

– Tal Geva, MD, pediatric cardiologist and electrophysiologist


My name is Andy Powell. I’m a physician and the Chief of the Cardiac Imaging Division. I’ve been at Boston Children’s for two decades now. I take care of patients in the inpatient and outpatient setting. I spend a fair bit of time with diagnostic imaging both with echocardiography, cardiac MRI and cardiac CT. I also see families prenatally for counseling and diagnostic care.

– Andy Powell, MD, pediatric cardiologist and diagnostic imaging


My name is Susan Saleeb. I am one of the cardiologists at Boston Children’s and I am predominantly in the outpatient department. I manage a lot of the fellow involvement and clinics. I also have many clinics myself. I perform fetal echocardiograms and I serve on the inpatient ward. The majority of my time I spend with patients is in the clinic, most of which are first-time consultations and return patients. I have many new patients that come on a weekly basis for various reasons, including general issues, structural heart disease, second opinions or initial assessments.


I see a lot of families who are coming for the first time and have a lot of anxiety about various things whether it’s a murmur assessment, a procedure or an opinion on other procedures needed. I feel like I spend a lot of my time in the office learning their stories and trying to put things into perspective for families and patients, deescalating situations that don’t necessarily need to be (but usually are) a cause of stress.

– Susan Saleeb, MD, pediatric cardiologist


My name is Samantha Butler and I’m a developmental and clinical psychologist in the Cardiac Neurodevelopment Program (CNP). My goal is to see all cardiac patients less than 12 months of age before they discharge from the hospital. While the CNP has a lot of outpatient psychologists, I am the only one that does inpatient.

– Samantha Butler, PhD, developmental psychologist


I am Jane Newburger, the Associate Cardiologist in Chief for Academic Affairs. I take care of many patients, attend on the ward, am in clinic and research the outcomes of individuals with congenital heart disease. We look at the best treatments for these patients, their neurodevelopmental functioning and well-being. I also do a lot of research on Kawasaki Disease, which is the leading cause of acquired heart disease among children in developed countries.

– Jane Newburger, MD, MPH, pediatric cardiologist


I’m Maureen Abramson. I’m a child life specialist, I work in the cardiac pre-op clinic, the cardiac general clinic and on 6 South. In the cardiac pre-op clinic, I prepare children and families for cardiac catheterizations and cardiac surgeries. I also prepare them for blood work, IVs, what they are going to see, hear, and feel when they’re here in the hospital, and I accompany them to different areas if they need help with an IV, scan or X-ray. I also let them know I work with a multidisciplinary team, which includes nurse practitioners, cardiologists, anesthesiologists and social work.

In the cardiac general clinic, I see families on a referral basis, and that is for kids who need to have a cardiac visit or follow up. I help with echoes, EKGs and the general clinic visit. If someone has high anxiety or is on the autism spectrum, I get called in to help those patients with their visit.

On 6 South, I help those children getting cardiac catheterizations, sedated echoes and cardiac MRIs. I meet families on their pre-op day.

– Maureen Abramson, MS, CCLS, child life specialist on 6 East, Cardiology pre-op, and Cardiology general clinic


I’m Lauren Smizer. I’m the child life specialist on 8 East, which is the cardiology patient step-down unit. For the cath patients, after they’ve seen Maureen and had their catheterization, they usually stay for overnight monitoring or they are still on bed rest and may need support with coping and activities that they can do in bed. It can be particularly difficult for our older infants and toddlers. It’s a little easier for the older kids but depending on what’s going developmentally, it can be a challenging experience at any age. I focus on what the patients need in that moment. Those kids are usually only on the unit one night, but our cath patients are children we often see again so it’s really important to build relationships based on consistent support.


For the surgical patients, it’s more in-depth because of their length of stay and experiences. We think about developmental care with infants and toddlers, with normalizing the environments, positions and helping parents hold their child chest-to-chest and developmental play. We often meet with families to talk about the transition home, encouraging families to seek out early intervention and other therapies available to them.

– Lauren Smizer, BS, CCLS, child life specialist on 8 East


I’m Kate Huyler. I’m the child life specialist in the Cardiac ICU on 8 South. I work really closely with the nurses, social workers and psychologists who are there to find out what the family’s needs and priorities are. Often patients just had surgery or are waiting to have surgery, so a lot of what I do is parent education and helping them find ways to help support their children. When their child is still intubated or sedated, it’s about finding things for the parents to do and focus on. We have a lot of infants, so developmental support is so important – working on the basics, positioning and helping parents feel that bond with their baby, even if they can’t hold them at the time.

We do some procedural support for chest tubes coming out, and we’re the safe role there, just to support the patient. The medical team is doing their thing but we’re there and we know the family’s routine, which is helpful.

– Kate Huyler, MS, CCLS, child life specialist, 8 South