Adult Congenital Heart Disease Fellowship :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Columbus Ohio Adult Congenital Heart Disease (COACH) Fellowship Program

The Columbus Ohio Adult Congenital Heart Disease (COACH) Fellowship Program offers two fully-funded, 24-month fellowship positions (one each year). The Schooler Family Foundation’s COACH Fellowship Program and hospital-based GME funded fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University is designed for those interested in a cardiovascular career specializing in the care of adults with congenital heart disease.

Fellowship Curriculum

  • 24 months of ACHD training
  • Split between The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • Core set of ACHD curriculum and tailored pathways based upon the fellows background and training, i.e., if background is pediatric cardiology, more time is dedicated to internal medicine cardiology; and if training is internal medicine cardiology, more time dedicated to pediatric cardiology 
  • Curriculum based upon rotations and competencies approved by ABIM and submitted to ACGME
  • Fully funded MPH available during ACHD Fellowship for those with particular research potential

ACHD Outpatient Clinics

Fellow is expected to attend 2 – 2.5 clinics per week.

ACHD Inpatient Consults

The ACHD Fellow will provide consults and round on the ACHD inpatients when available during year 1 of fellowship and provide inpatient support on a more regular basis during year 2. The consult team, consisting of the ACHD fellow, ACHD APN and the ACHD attending, provides overview and support. The inpatient and consult service carries a census at both hospitals (Nationwide Children’s and Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center) and on average is 5 – 10 patients in house each day.

ACHD Cardiac Imaging

Imaging rotation for the ACHD fellows will provide experience according to the specific pathway (internal medicine versus pediatric). The internal medicine cardiology fellow will spend additional time in the pediatric cardiology echo lab to better understand childhood CHD with unrepaired defects, undiagnosed newborns, recently repaired lesions, and intraoperative TEE. For the pediatric cardiology fellow, additional time will be spent in the adult echo lab to gain experience with ischemic heart disease, analysis of LV wall motion, stress testing, and TEE. The goal of this rotation is to individualize the experience to meet the needs of the ACHD fellow and prepare the trainee for a career in ACHD.


Our cardiac MRI program at Nationwide Children’s and Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center are leading imaging labs in the country directed by Subha Raman, MD (Ohio State) and Kan Hor, MD (Nationwide Children’s) and controlled by the cardiology division. We have developed lesion specific protocols for ACHD and have faculty trained in ACHD to guide the examination and interpretation. With over 400 scans per year, and specific rotations for the ACHD fellow, comprehension and knowledge in ACHD MRI/CT will clearly improve with greater ability to understand protocols and interpret images. The ACHD Fellow will spend 2 – 3 months dedicated to ACHD CMR/CT.

ACHD Cardiac Catheterization

Depending on the interest of the ACHD fellow, the majority of ACHD cardiac catheterization time will be spent in observation. Certainly fellows with advanced skill and interest will have opportunities to be a part of ACHD catheterization interventions. Most of this time will be spent at Nationwide Children’s. Our interventional Hybrid catheterization laboratories at Nationwide Children’s, directed by John Cheatham, MD, provides an environment unlike any in the country. The specific Hybrid labs, first in the United States, are the basis for our outstanding outcomes in ACHD interventional procedures. Dr. Cheatham is one of only handful of highly skilled, experiences operators in the United States who has developed and performed procedures only a few places in the world have attempted and been successful for ACHD patients. Including transcatheter valve therapy, device closure techniques, covered stent procedures and Hybrid approaches to complex patients, the experience for the ACHD fellow both in the lab and through observation is essential for ACHD training and career development.


The ACHD fellow will spend time understanding and managing (along with the ACHD team) the post-op care for ACHD patients undergoing CT surgery. This will be in the form of post-op consults in the CTICU and the floor unit. The Central Ohio Adult Congenital Heart Disease (COACH) program sends 30 – 40 patients to the OR each year. The fellow will work with the CTICU team along with the ACHD attending responsible for inpatient consults.

Fellowship Highlilghts

  • First in Man transcatheter placement of the Native Outflow Tract Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve Replacement for TOF and severe pulmonary insufficiency; 1 of 3 programs in the world placing this device
  • Abstract presentations at American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions, International Symposium on Congenital Heart Disease in the Adult, ACHA National Conference
  • 13 Active Clinical Trials and Grants
  • T32 NIH Training Grant in CHD
  • Opened the First ACHD Multi-Disciplinary FONTAN Clinic
  • Hired ACHD Cardiologist May Ling Mah, MD
  • Hired Jamie Jackson, PhD, one of the only a few ACHD programs in the world with ACHD Psychologist
  • Published 14 articles in peer review journals
  • Leadership from COACH
    • ABIM ACHD Certification Exam Writing Committee
    • ACC ACPC Council
    • ACHA National Conference
    • NHLBI Working Group on ACHD
    • International Society for ACHD
    • ACHA Program Accreditation Committee
    • ACC/AHA Care Guidelines
    • ACC COCATS Guidelines for ACHD
  • Expansion of CHD Transition Education Program
  • Comprehensive High Risk OB ACHD Anesthesia Program
  • Opening of ACHD Outreach Clinics in Mansfield, Ohio and Portsmouth, Ohio

Adult Congenital Heart Association Lobby Day

Nearly 80 advocates, including members from the Columbus Ohio Adult Congenital Heart Disease (COACH) program at Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University, gathered in Washington, D.C., for Lobby Day to help drive and lead the long-term care and awareness of congenital heart disease. Hosted by the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) and Mended LittleHearts (MLH), this annual event brings together patients, family members, medical professionals, and supporters from across the country to connect with more than 100 legislative offices.

Key focus areas directed towards lawmakers included:

  • Provide funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support data collection to better understand the prevalence and assess the public health impact of congenital heart disease.
  • Support the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s efforts to expand research to target the diverse lifelong needs of individuals living with congenital heart disease.
  • Join the Congenital Heart Caucus.

Additionally, COACH program members met with Senator Sherrod Brown (OH-Democrat), who supports the above legislation. Members who met with the senator and are featured in the Adult Congenital Heart Association Lobby Day video include Curt Daniels, MD, Director of the COACH Program, Marc Cribbs, MD, The Schooler Adult Congenital Heart Disease Fellow, Chris Learn, MD, Adult Congenital Heart Disease Fellow  and Patty Woods, APN, Nurse Coordinator.

fellowship contact info

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000