Reflecting on 30 Years of the Pacific Adult Congenital Heart (PACH) Clinic

Did you know? The Pacific Adult Congenital Heart (PACH) Clinic cares for more than 6,000 patients and is the only clinic in BC caring for adults born with congenital heart disease. However, this was not always the case.

Dr. Doris Kavanagh-Gray recalls that initially “there was very little to do because surgery was just beginning to open. But by 1960, we were closing holes in the heart with the first open heart surgeries in Vancouver.”

As her patients grew up, Dr. Kavanagh-Gray continued to look after them as there weren’t many adult cardiologists specializing in congenital heart disease (CHD) survivors.

Then Dr. Marla Kiess arrived at St. Paul’s and, with a group of interested adult and pediatric cardiologists, launched the Pacific Adult Congenital Heart (PACH) Clinic in 1988, which went on to expand and grow at Shaughnessy Hospital and then St. Paul’s.

Now, more than 30 years later, the clinic at St. Paul’s sees around 100 patients a week. The multi- disciplinary team has grown to 13, and the most complex cases are reviewed by a team of 15 or more! Hear more about the story of PACH here!