Winners of the awards
The Scholarships are administered by the British Congenital Cardiac Association and awarded at their spring meeting each year. The Trust currently provides £50,000 each year to support research and clinical fellowships. To date all the recipients have been paediatricians, but we welcome applications from nurses and physiotherapists too.
For more information about the projects and recipients, please click on the menu to the right.
2020 Dr Stefano Bartoletti
Honorary Senior Fellow in Cardiology at Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital
2019 Phuoc Duong
Paediatric Cardiologist reading a doctorate degree in congenital heart imaging at King’s College London
2018 Dr Srinivas Narayan
Paediatric myocardial parametric mapping (detailed characterisation of the heart muscle with MRI)
2018 Sian Chivers
Fetal heart rhythm analysis by ECG at Columbia University, New York
2017 Cristina Kinsella
Determining the long-term outcomes for adult congenital heart disease patients at the ICCV in Cuba
2017 Henry Chubb
Research with Dr Anne Dubin and her electrophysiology (EP) team at Stanford, California
2016 Sadia Quyam
Cardiac Critical Care and Pulmonary Hypertension at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, Canada
2016 Michael Quail
Multimodality Imaging at the University of Yale
2016 Hannah Bellsham-Revell
Echo and MRI departments at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia
2014 Guido Pieles
Cardiac ultrasound imaging at Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto
2014 Alyson Walker
Cardiac anaesthesia at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston
2013 Dr Beverly Tsai-Goodman
Fetal Cardiac MRI Techniques, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
2013 Dr James Bentham
Interventional Paediatric Cardiology, Boston Childrens’ Hospital
2012 Dr Tarique Hussain
Training in Diagnostic Imaging and Cardiac MRI, Toronto
2012 Dr Tosin Majekodunmi
Training in Structural Congenital Intervention, Toronto
2011 Dr Dominic Hares
Paediatric electro-physiology and pacemaker insertion Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto
2010 Dr Damien Kenny
Training in Catheter Treatment of Congenital Heart Disease, University of Chicago Medical Center
2009 Dr Jonathan Windram
Training in Adult Congenital Cardiology Toronto Congenital Cardiac Centre
2008 Dr Gareth Morgan
Training in Congenital Heart Intervention, Toronto Children’s Hospital
2007 Dr Anna Seale
Training in Complex Echocardiography Techniques 3D and 4D Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts, USA
2006 Dr S Lucy Roche
Assessment of Right Ventricular Function in Tetralogy of Fallot Toronto Children’s Hospital, Canada
Further information about the individual awards
We are delighted that Dr Stefano Bartoletti has been awarded the 2020 Travel Fellowship and will be studying for one year with the acclaimed Dr Professor Paul Khairy at the Montreal Heart Institute in Canada: this is a unique programme in one of the world’s largest-volume centres of excellence for the specific area of electrophysiology and ACHD, with a great track record in research and first-hand involvement in writing the current North American expert consensus statement for arrhythmia management in ACHD. His knowledge from the programme will make a big difference to the treatment of ACHD in the UK.
Dr Bartoletti holds a Fellowship in Adult Congenital Heart Disease at Bristol Heart Institute and will travel to Canada to train with Prof Khairy from July 2021. He received his training in both the UK and Italy.
Phuoc Duong is a Paediatric Cardiologist reading a doctorate degree in congenital heart imaging at King’s College London. Through the BCCA, he has been awarded the scholarship for 2019.
His intention is to travel to Boston’s Children Hospital this November, to learn how the doctors there rehabilitate babies’ hearts with a functionally single pumping chamber, into one and half if not two pumping chambers. To date this is the largest unit in the world with the most experience in this type of surgery. In the UK this practice is not yet uniform and he hopes to bring back helpful knowledge, to help families and children suffering from this condition.
This programme emphasises the use of advanced imaging techniques (echo, CT and MRI) to help cardiologists and surgeons make informed decisions. This is also his speciality of interest therefore it makes the perfect opportunity to learn from one of the best centres.
The attachment period will last for 3 months, with the possibility to be extended or bridged into a larger project. The learning points will be shared at the next BCCA meeting in 2020 and we look forward to hearing from Phuoc on his return.
Dr Srinivas Narayan trained in Paediatric Cardiology and advanced cardiac imaging at London. He is undertaking a clinical observership at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids®) at Toronto under Dr Lars Grosse-Wortmann, Section Head of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance.
In addition to gaining an understanding of the workflow and the decision making of this reputed North American centre, he will be learning paediatric myocardial parametric mapping (detailed characterisation of the heart muscle with MRI), which is useful in assessing the early onset of generalised fibrosis and adverse remodelling, both of which adversely affect the function of the heart. He will assess the value of this technique in diagnosing infections of the heart.
He also hopes to gain exposure to fetal cardiac MRI, for which SickKids is a pioneer. Both these techniques are not well established in the UK at present. He intends to introduce these to Bristol and develop a collaborative project and a facilitate good relationships for future research.
Sian Chivers is a London based paediatric cardiology trainee with an interest in fetal cardiology.
She has been working alongside Professors Simpson and Williamson in the Evelina and St Thomas’ hospital in her spare time for the last year or so and is hoping to start a PhD project next year. This project will look at fetal heart rhythm analysis by fetal ECG alongside advanced imaging techniques of the fetal heart in women with metabolic disease of pregnancy.
The fetal ECG is a new way of assessing the fetal heart rhythm, currently echo techniques are used to assess this.
Her travel fellowship will be used to build on this work. Professor William Fifer in Columbia University, New York has been doing a lot of work on the fetal ECG and has a large amount of data. She will be working with him analysing data and learning techniques that will give baseline data to support her PhD and publishable material from two centres.
Cristina is currently a fourth year medical student at the University of Birmingham and has a long-standing interest in congenital heart disease – most recently she attended the BCCA meeting in November to give a presentation on an audit she is involved with the Adult Congenital Heart Disease center in Birmingham. The Madeleine Steel Charitable Trust as decided to make an exceptional award for this elective project in light of its focus on congenital heart disease, and the fact that it echoes the aims of the Maddy Steel Foundation.
She has arranged to spend her time with Dr Pedro Román Rubio who is a paediatric cardiologist with a specialist interest in congenital heart disease (he is the Head of the National Pregnancy Screening Service for Congenital Heart Disease in Cuba). Because of this, he has a significant number of adult congenital heart disease patients under his care. During her time at the ICCV, she will aim to determine the long-term outcomes these patients have (e.g. how commonly patients would need valve replacements, or when might they might develop heart failure). She will also aim to gain an appreciation of the services that are provided for adult of Tetralogy of Fallot patients within the Cuban healthcare system, and whether resource constraints or a different cultural environment have any impact on the services on offer to patients. Furthermore and as in Birmingham, she will aim to speak to as many Tetralogy of Fallot patients as possible.
He will travel to Stanford in California at the end of December this year, and the first 6 months will be spent in research with Dr Anne Dubin and her electrophysiology (EP) team, bridging between Stanford University and the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. He plans to implement some of the MRI imaging techniques that he has developed over the course of his PhD in order to inform cardiac resynchronisation therapy. This is a treatment that involves a pacemaker that is capable of pacing more than one point in the heart, this enables improved co-ordination of the contraction of the heart. Resynchronisation therapy is increasingly widely used in adult cardiology, but very rarely implemented in children. However, it has the capability to dramatically improve quality of life in selected patients, and the patient selection and technical programming parameters are barely understood in the paediatric age group.
Following 6 months of research, he has been appointed to take up an Advanced Electrophysiology Fellow training post, starting in July 2018. Anne Dubin, Kara Motonaga and Scott Ceresnak work at the forefront of world paediatric EP and offer a highly renowned training programme, with up to three days per week of work in the electrophysiology laboratory. Stanford has one of the largest EP programmes in the USA, with more than 250 invasive procedures performed each year, more than any centre in the UK at present.
Sadia has arranged to undertake a fellowship at the Stollery Childrens Hospital in Edmonton, Canada to work with Dr Ian Adatia who is undoubtedly a leader in Pulmonary Hypertension. He has also previously worked in the service at GOSH where she is currently based making him extremely well placed to highlight important differences in practise between the two centres. As well as learning from the differences in how patients are treated and investigated, she will also be learning how the team is structured, how both medical and nursing staff are trained and how the service itself is designed.
Additionally she hopes to combine data from the two centres to produce a piece of retrospective research. Combining numbers and efforts in this way could help to shed light on aspects of this difficult and rare condition and she is planning to share the results at the BCCA conference and with the Madeleine Steel Charitable Trust on her return.
She writes “Your award is very gratefully received and will help me to relocate to Canada (Tentatively Aug 2016). Some of the people who have been involved in training me (Anna Seale, Gareth Morgan, Jamie Bentham) are previous recipients of your award and have spoken about how much it enriched them as physicians. I have found these people to be motivating and I really hope my experience in Canada will bring the same depth to the way I think and treat my patients as it has done them. I plan to work hard to build relationships out there as I feel strongly that in managing a condition so rare, we would be massively helped by having an open dialogue and sharing complex cases.”
Michael will be travelling to the University of Yale to complete a period of postdoctoral research in multimodality imaging.
These imaging techniques aim to study the heart at both the ‘pump’ and molecular levels to find new ways of identifying heart failure at an earlier stage.
He is a British Heart Foundation Clinical Research Fellow at University College London and a previous winner of the Melvin Judkins Young Investigator Award from the American Heart Association
She will be going to the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia and work for 6 weeks with Dr Cohen on research in the Echo and MRI departments. Her MD(res) and subsequent research has been on children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and assessing their ventricular function.
She is particularly interested in this patient group and plans to learn and develop further techniques and observe another centre’s working. She is currently a paediatric specialist registrar in cardiology at the Evelina Hospital in London.
Here is the report of Hannah’s work at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, October 2016:
• To observe the congenital heart disease MRI department and learn a new technique
• To observe the congenital heart disease echocardiography department
• To observe an overseas department and their decision making
• To participate in a research project
Congenital Cardiac MRI
I observed two congenital MRI lists a week. Each list started at 07:00 and had around 6 patients, alternating awake and sedated/anaesthetised. These lists started much earlier than the lists at Evelina and ran very smoothly thanks to a dedicated anaesthetic team. The magnet was set-up in a hybrid catheter lab, but with a door between the two rooms, so the catheter lab can be used separately. It was interesting to observe the quality of images that could be obtained with free-breathing sedated patients, avoiding anaesthetics. Although I did not see it in action in my time in the unit, I also saw the exercise bike that can be attached to the MRI table to allow exercise-MRI. Reporting was on CVI 42 which we do not routinely use at Evelina and so I was able to gain experience with this system which was very user-friendly and had many functions.
Examples of MRI cases seen:
• Cardiac assessment of non-cardiac conditions: Duchenne muscular dystrophy, proprionic acidaemia, iron overload
• Routine surveillance: transposition of the great arteries, tetralogy of Fallot
• Vascular rings
• Single ventricle patient with persistent chylothorax
• Coronary imaging: stress perfusion imaging after coronary re-implantation, coronary artery abnormalities
• Single ventricle Fontan patients including one with the conduit going through the atrial mass
CHOP has been developing MRI lymphangiograms to plot routes for lymphatic interventions. I have a research interest in the single ventricle patients and CHOP has had some very promising results in treating plastic bronchitis. I was very keen to learn this technique and bring it back to Evelina, as it is not used in the UK. I observed several patients undergoing MRI lymphangiography with and without contrast and the MRI and access techniques. I am now working with the Evelina MRI and interventional department and we have our first patient identified.
I spent one day a week in the echo laboratory. The set-up of the echocardiography service is very different to that in the UK. Due to technical and professional billing, all echocardiograms have to be reported by a consultant, meaning a very high workload. I am very involved in intraoperative imaging and the Technical Performance Score at Evelina, and was interested to see that at CHOP they do not use epicardial echocardiography and do not feel that the Technical Performance Score is useful. 3D echocardiography is used for valve assessment, but not routinely for ventricular septal defects and surgical planning of complex routing. I was asked to give a teaching talk on this element of 3D practice, and also gave a talk about my research on the assessment of right ventricular performance in hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
Observing an Overseas Department
I attended the weekly surgical meeting and was able to observe the decision making process. I saw that there were very similar issues to problems we see at Evelina, and a large forum discussion was the preferred method also. I was able to speak to the fellows about their training to gain some ideas that could be brought to our department and even UK training. I also attended teaching sessions within the department.
Ethical approval was gained for a research project and I completed the America equivalent of the Good Clinical Practice course. My research project was reviewing the MRI, echocardiographic and catheter data on patients where there was debate over whether a single or biventricular repair was possible. I identified the patients from 2005 to 2016 and reviewed the clinical and demographic papers, and then re-analysed the MRI scans and echocardiograms. The data was then reviewed in terms of imaging and eventual repair. This is being submitted as an abstract to the World Congress.
Along with introducing MRI lympangiography to Evelina, we are planning on a collaborative project between CHOP and Evelina to increase numbers of patients in the study and also forming a good relationship for future research.
I am extremely grateful to the Madeleine Steel Foundation for enabling me to spend this 6 week period at CHOP. From an educational point of view I learnt several things that I am hoping to use to improve my clinical practice and from a personal point of view I had a very enjoyable trip to the East Coast.
Guido is a senior paediatric cardiology trainee at Bristol with a strong research interest in exercise and activity promotion in children with congenital heart disease.
He has been working with Dr Graham Stuart over the last years at Bristol and together they have developed a research group investigating activity levels, exercise response and also rehabilitation and training programmes for children with heart defects.
This research area has been somewhat neglected over the last decades, but with more and more children not engaging in any form of physical activity and the proven health benefit of activity and exercise it has regained new interest.
Their hypothesis is that children with heart conditions in particular should be encouraged within their limits to enjoy play and sports and benefit from the positive effects this may have on their health. At present, not enough is known however about the levels of activity our cardiac patients can and should engage in and the response of the heart after surgery during exercise. They have therefore developed a method to image the heart during exercise using cardiac ultrasound and have just started a study here at Bristol in collaboration with the University of Exeter. Please find more information clicking here.
In October of 2014 he went to the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto to expand his expertise in cardiac ultrasound imaging in particularly during exercise. Toronto is one of the international reference centres in particular when it comes to cardiac ultrasound imaging and his one year fellowship there is a unique opportunity to learn new skills and bring them back to the UK.
Alyson is a recently appointed Consultant Paediatric Anaesthetist at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow.
Texas Children’s Hospital is a busy and world-renowned hospital with a complex cardiac caseload. Visiting this centre would provide the opportunity to gain experience and knowledge of their cardiac anaesthetic and monitoring techniques used in the cardiac theatre, catheterization laboratories and cardiac MRI suite. She is particularly interested in their anaesthetic management of the child with hypoplastic cardiac disease. Their department has a strong research ethic and is well published
Texas Children’s Hospital is one of only three international centres which offers a dedicated paediatric cardiac anaesthesia fellowship and so is dedicated to education and skills development.
She was looking to gain an understanding of inter-department communication and service planning through attendance at the divisional and heart center meeting, the surgical case management meeting, fellows’ meeting and case review conference. She was also aiming to learn about their quality improvement programme with a view to improving such a programme in Glasgow.
Her educational objectives are:
– To gain experience of cardiac anaesthesia and peri-operative patient management in a busy centre of excellence with a complex cardiac caseload
– Observe inter-departmental communication and case planning
– Gain knowledge of their research programme, in particular neuroprotection and neuromonitoring
– Find out what makes their quality improvement programme successful in order to improve practice in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow
To read Alyson’s report on her visit to the Texas Children’s Hospital, please click here
Here is a short description of the work Bev Tsai-Goodman will be doing in Toronto:
Dear Mr and Mrs Steel,
I would like to thank you so much for supporting my application to visit The Hospital For Sick Children in Toronto and to learn the new technique of fetal cardiac MRI. This is a great honour and great opportunity for me and I am very excited. I would also like to extend my gratitude to everyone who is supporting your charity and therefore enabling me to travel to Toronto.
Fetal Cardiology deals with the detection and management of heart conditions whilst the baby is still in the mother and, as a subspecialty of paediatric cardiology, has come a long way. With advances in ultrasonography, we have gained greater insight into the development of congenital heart disease during pregnancy which has allowed us to provide the expectant mother with more information and a better choice. Although antenatal intervention is still in its infancy, earlier detection of heart problems has resulted in the delivery of a better antenatal and postnatal service and the overall long term outcome of infants with congenital heart disease.
Although I am well trained in fetal cardiology and cardiac MRI, fetal cardiac MRI is a very novel technique and currently not available in the UK. The team at The Hospital for Sick Children have developed MRI sequences that will allow image acquisition of the fetal heart without the use an ECG, normally necessary in order to obtain adequate images.
My future plan is to set up research projects here in Bristol with my cardiac surgeon and the neonatal team once I return and I look forward to advancing our knowledge and improving the overall outcome for children with heart disease.
Jamie’s Acceptance Letter is below
Dear Veronica Steel,
My name is James Bentham and I am a final year trainee currently subspecialty training in interventional paediatric cardiology at Leeds General Infirmary. I have worked at several centres around the UK (Liverpool, Oxford, Great Ormond Street and Leeds) and have received excellent training. I, like you, have realised that a period of time spent in North America is essential to keep pace with specialty developments. America is consistently 5-10 years ahead of current UK practice with almost all major advances in our specialty being realised there (Norwood surgery, arterial switch surgery and Fontan surgery to name but a few). One consistently perplexing problem is that ideas are frequent in the UK and Europe but we consistently fail to follow through ideas into clinical practice and prove their benefit. The important exception to this is the Bonhoeffer pulmonary valve which really is a truly remarkable achievement and paved the way for routine trans-catheter heart valve therapies (pulmonary, aortic and tricuspid). For several years I have been looking for an opening to spend a senior year at a leading institution to understand the differences between UK and US practice and to identify areas of practice which we need to be introducing into the UK in the next few years. I have now secured a senior fellowship position at Boston Children’s Hospital in Interventional Paediatric Cardiology. Your award is gratefully received and will help us relocate to Boston (July 2013) and return in July 2014. I look forward to writing to you on my return and hope to fill you in on my progress and ideas! I have attached the submission to the BCCA for this award. Please would you let me know if there are other members of your family that I should make contact with.
With grateful thanks,
Update from Tarique:
Dear Veronica and Andrew,
I am writing to continue to keep you up to date with my progress as the recipient of the 2012 Madeleine Steele Scholarship. As you recall, I had undertaken for this fellowship in order to form international research links and to learn and directly implement cardiac MRI techniques to benefit children in the UK.
Since my return to the UK, I have implemented the improved cardiac MRI protocols into our clinical practice at Birmingham Children’s hospital. I have taught these techniques to one of the existing cardiology consultants in Birmingham and already, many children have benefitted from these improved routines. Furthermore, I am now training two further Birmingham cardiology registrars in cardiac MRI.
I am also delighted to inform you that I have now been offered a consultant post in Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital from this Easter. I am therefore forever grateful for the opportunities and training that I received from my time in Toronto. This would not have been feasible for me without the Madeleine Steel Scholarship. I will always be grateful for this and I continue to fulfil my obligations in imparting this learning. Yesterday, I gave a lecture in Bristol on the developments in cardiac MRI that I learnt to an audience of 40 delegates from all over the UK.
The research collaboration with Toronto has also been extremely rewarding. Next week, I have been invited to San Francisco to present my research findings on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a heart muscle disease) in children to an international medical audience.
I wanted you to know that the funds that your family have raised have already gone a long way to directly improving the lives of children all over the UK. I believe that the research links that have been formed will help to improve the lives of children worldwide. I will, of course, keep you updated with the research progress.
Again, I would like to pass on my gratitude to all those that have donated money for the charity and thank you for this opportunity.
Dr Tarique Hussain
Birmingham Children’s Hospital
Tarique will be travelling to Toronto for a 2 month collaborative project in July 2012. Below is his letter to us telling us about his plans:
I have recently been informed that the BCCA has selected my application to be put forward for your fellowship. I am a final year Paediatric Cardiology registrar with an established interest in diagnostic imaging (in particular cardiac MRI). I am currently based at Birmingham Children’s Hospital (but have also worked in Paediatric Cardiology in Glasgow & London). I have organised a placement at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto to help develop research and clinical collaborations in cardiac MRI. I hope to learn and directly implement optimised clinical techniques for cardiac MRI from Toronto and to further establish specific joint research projects.
The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading centres for cardiac MRI and I believe that I am well placed to ensure rapid and direct benefit from my experiences to the healthcare of children in the UK. The development of non-invasive imaging in Birmingham Children’s Hospital will be of great benefit in reducing the morbidity and complications encountered with invasive diagnostic imaging (cardiac catheterisation). Research collaboration would also be of benefit in developing new techniques in the UK to improve diagnosis and follow-up.
One of our Fellows this year is Tosin Majekodunmi, he is heading to Toronto in the first week of June for a one year Fellowship after completing a stint at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. As the Congenital Interventional Fellow, responsibilities include:
- Presentation of patients for potential interventions at multi-disciplinary meetings
- Preparation of patients for interventions including arranging pre-intervention investigations
- Conducting research into outcomes from congenital intervention
- Presenting research outcomes at international meetings
- Performing interventions such as Percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation Trans-catheter aortic valve implantation,device closure of atrial septal defects,device closure of patent foramen ovale,device closure of para-valvular leaks
- Preparing patients for discharge including arranging appropriate follow up and dealing with any complications.
Following Dom’s time in Toronto he was kind enough to send us the following letter:
As the 2011 recipient of the Madeleine Steel Fellowship, I wanted to update you on my progress and the use I have made of the fund. I was always very clear that my reason for going abroad was to obtain experience to bring back and helpchildren in the UK. I am aware from reading your website that the proposed use of the funds raised is to improve the level of experience of UK healthcareprofessionals too, which is in part why the trust seemed such a good fit and why I applied for the fellowship.
I am delighted to be able to tell you that I have been appointed to the Leeds General Infirmary as a consultant electrophysiologist and cardiologist, a position for which I would not have been eligible without the time spent on Fellowship in Toronto. The experience there was something that will stay with me for the rest of my life, and has certainly prepared me in a focused way to take on the challenges ahead. I hope that I can use the experience to improve the outcomes of children with electrical heart disease in the UK for the rest of my career, as I know that this is how you as a family, envisage the fellowship.
Without the travel grant, my family and I would have been unable to take up the offer of the fellowship at all, as the associated expenses were significant. I would like to thank everyone who has raised funds for the charity for allowing me to take on the experience, and hope that they can see that all the money raised really is benefitting UK children. Thank you once again for your support,
Dr Dom Hares
Announcement of 2010 Award
We are delighted to award the 2010 Fellowship to Damien Kenny, currently a trainee in Bristol. Damien will start a fellowship in July 2010 with the world renowned Dr Ziyad Hijazi at the University of Chicago Medical Center where he will receieve training in catheter treatments for congenital heart conditions.
We look forward to learning more about his projects.
Announcement of 2009 Award
We are delighted to award the 2009 Fellowship to Jonathan Windram. He is starting a fellowship in Adult Congenital Cardiology at the Toronto Congenital Cardiac Centre for Adults. This is provisionally for a two year period.
Jonathan is currently a Specialist Registrar in Adult Cardiology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. Prior to this he worked at Leeds General Infirmary.
His intention is to become a Consultant in Adult Congenital Cardiology with a special interest in non invasive imaging and heart failure
The fellowship will provide the opportunity to train in Cardiac MRI and CT with Dr Narinder Paul and to continue to learn advanced echocardiography techniques with Dr Anna Woo.
Approximately 50% of Jonathan’s time will be assigned to undertaking research looking into heart failure in patients with adult congenital heart disease. As the population of patients with congenital heart disease grows this will become more of a problem to our patients. This is an area that is needs significant amounts of work in the UK and we are pleased to be able to assist.
We look forward to reciving Jonathan’s updates.
Announcement of 2008 Award
We are delighted to announce that Gareth Morgan from Bristol Children’s Hospital has been awarded the 2008 Madeleine Steel Fellowship
Gareth will be leaving Bristol in late June 2008 to travel to the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto,Canada; where he will be beginning a two year fellowship specialising in interventional congenital cardiology.
This will give him the opportunity to spend a concentrated period of time becoming proficient in the most complex and cutting edge techniques in catheter based intervention.
Message from Gareth – March 2009
I have now been in Toronto for 8 months and the time has flown for me. Learning a new system and new way of approaching the difficult problems we face in paediatric cardiology has added another layer to my enthusiasm for the specialty. The Hospital for Sick Children (“Sick Kids”) has an international reputation for academia and clinical results and the fellowship programme here is really committed to continued high level education, in a way that is just not feasible in the NHS. I would never slight our health education system back home; but a fellowship here does allow much more focus on training and research; as opposed to the much more apprenticeship based system that I experienced back home. Having both of these systems in my experience will hopefully stand me in good stead when I start looking for consultant posts in a year’s time. I have also had the opportunity to experience life in a new and vibrant city, which has opened my eyes to a different culture whilst at the same time allowed me to appreciate the cultural subtleties of the British Isles.
One of the big difficulties with trainees in my position taking up these fellowships is certainly the funding and the large unsupported outlay at the begriming of the fellowship. I am enormously grateful to your family for the scholarship I received earlier this year. It has helped me to minimise the debt which a trainee incurs in order to further their training. I hope that this opportunity will continue to be available to my colleagues in the future, thanks to your support and hard work.
Dr Gareth J Morgan
Clinical Fellow in Paediatric Cardiology
Anna Seale was awarded the fellowship in 2007. These are her letters.:
To the Steel family,
I want to wish your family a very Merry Christmas and New Year!
My time at Boston has now come to an end and I am flying back to the UK tomorrow and starting at the Brompton mid-January.
I have had a fantastic year and greatly appreciate the support you have given me. I am sure the things I have learnt will help me greatly in my future career.
During my time in Boston I have concentrated on Magnetic Resonance imaging (MRI) and echo.
I did not have MRI experience before coming to the Children’s hospital and I have had a great introduction to this imaging modality. It is clear that MRI gives extremely good imaging as well as quantative data for measuring ventricular function and chamber size. This can help determine timing of surgery and lets the surgeon get a very good idea of the cardiac anatomy. There are still difficulties in scanning small babies, but the technology is improving all the time.
I have also had a chance to learn 3 dimensional echocardiography. We have often used this in the operating room, imaging valves before repair to give the surgeon as much information as possible about the mechanism of narrowing/ leakiness.
Again, the technology is improving all the time.
I am particularly interested in fetal echocardiography and have had the opportunity to see some fetal interventions, which is a very new field.
However, one of the most useful things has been seeing how a large paediatric “non-invasive imaging” department is run. Particularly how findings are documented, data is stored and staff is taught. The team here is really fantastic and it has been an honor to work with them.
So altogether a fantastic year- Not to mention the added bonus of living in Boston and seeing New England.
Thank you so much for your support to me and the BCCA.
Have a fantastic holiday period and 2008.
To the Steel family,
I am writing to thank you and tell you how delighted I am to hear that I have been awarded the Madeleine-Steele Fellowship award. I am very grateful for all your hard work in fund raising and your support of the British Congenital Cardiac Association.
I have recently come to the end of my registrar training in Paediatric Cardiology in the UK. During this time, I rotated between Great Ormond Street Hospital and The Royal Brompton Hospital. Before this I trained in Paediatrics and worked in many hospitals in the UK – from Edinburgh to Truro!
I have secured a Consultant post in Paediatric and Fetal Cardiology which will begin mid- January 2008 at the Royal Brompton and Hammersmith Hospitals, London. Before taking up this post, I was keen to gain more experience in non-invasive imaging, preferably in a North American Centre. I applied for the post of Senior Fellow in Non-invasive Imaging at Boston Children’s Hospital and luckily got the position. I started the job in February 2007 and have found it an extremely enjoyable and educational experience. I am here until the end of December 2007.
Boston Children’s hospital has a very large non-invasive cardiac imaging department active in research and is at the cutting edge for newer imaging techniques. I am gaining further skills by being exposed to all aspects of echocardiography and magnetic resonance imaging. In addition, it is interesting to see the organizational structure of such a large imaging department. I’m sure this experience will be extremely helpful, in my consultant job in the UK.
Once again, I am extremely grateful for your support.
A description of the work Lucy has been doing in Toronto
We receieved a comprehensive update on the work Lucy has been undertaking at the Children’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada. Prior to her fellowship she was working at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. A brief description of her projects follows:
The majority of Lucy’s time is spent on a study with the primary aim of investigating the causes of late left ventricular impairment in patients with Tetralogy of Fallot. She has recruited and studied 19 patients with MRI and ECG at rest and exercise so far, and her team is aiming for a total of 30 pediatric patients. She has also been working on several other projects and has managed to publish several papers. She has also joined the Kids Science scheme at the hospital which pairs reasearchers with schools and community centres in disadvantaged areas. She has been visiting schools, talking with pupils about how she became interested in sciences and giving interactive demonstrations of her current research.