Children's Hospital Colorado Hires Dr. Lisa Howley to Advance Fetal and Pediatric Cardiology Program

 Dr. Lisa Howley
Dr. Lisa Howley

Children's Hospital Colorado is proud to announce the hire of pediatric cardiologist Lisa Howley, M.D., who recently joined the hospital’s Heart Institute and will work closely with the new advanced maternal fetal neonatal medicine (MFNM) program. Howley, who specializes in both fetal and pediatric cardiology, will use her training in echocardiography (a sonogram of the heart also known as a cardiac ultrasound) to improve the prenatal detection rate and outcome of babies with congenital heart disease.

Congenital heart disease affects approximately eight out of every 1,000 newborns and is one of the most common congenital anomalies found in newborns according to the Centers for Disease Control. Howley, who is one of few in the country to be subspecialty-trained in fetal cardiology, plans to focus her efforts at Children’s on improving routine fetal cardiac screening, performing cardiac screening earlier in pregnancy, as well as using fetal echocardiography in the care of fetuses with medical conditions that may indirectly affect their heart

She is also active in outreach efforts to regional obstetric practices in hopes of increasing the awareness of fetal cardiac disease and educating providers about the optimal care that the Heart Institute provides for the most high-risk fetuses and newborns.

Fetal Expert Hopes to Help Babies with Congenital Heart Disease

“I’m very excited about the development of the MFNM program,” said Howley referring to the center that has been jointly established by Children's Hospital Colorado, the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. The MNFM program will offer unique, state-of-the-art medical care for high-risk pregnant women and their babies. “Working alongside our perinatal colleagues will allow us to improve our prenatal screening, patient care for both mothers and babies, as well as research collaboration.”  The new MFNM center, to be located on the Anschutz Medical Campus, will enable caregivers to not only diagnose but also provide intervention for certain medical conditions before a baby is born.

The ability to provide such interventions can reduce, and in some cases eliminate, the adverse consequences of many pediatric diseases. As part of this unique program, mothers who are carrying high-risk babies may receive their outpatient care and ultimately deliver at Children's Hospital Colorado starting in the spring of 2011.  Howley received her medical degree from the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va. She completed her residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Children's Hospital Colorado in Denver.

Recently she completed a fellowship in advanced fetal and neonatal cardiac imaging at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, where she trained predominantly in fetal cardiology and focused her research on first trimester fetal hemodynamics and the role of fetal atrial function. Howley’s past research has also focused on evaluating the safety of preoperative enteral nutrition in neonates with prostaglandin-dependent congenital heart disease.

Learn more about the Fetal Cardiology Program at Children's.