Dell Children’s Medical Center, through the generosity of a $7 million transformational gift from the John L. Hern Foundation, has established the John L. Hern Foundation Distinguished Chair in Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery and Endowed Chair in Pediatric Organ Transplantation. Charles D. Fraser, Jr., MD, an internationally recognized pediatric congenital heart surgeon, has been named to the inaugural Distinguished Chair. Dr. Fraser is Dell Children’s Chief of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, Founder and Executive Director of the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease in partnership with Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. The Endowed Chair position will be used to recruit a new Surgical Chief of Pediatric Heart Transplantation at Dell Children’s.

The John L. Hern Foundation’s $7 million gift honors the growth and excellence that has been achieved at Dell Children’s pediatric heart program and is a direct investment to enhance world class surgical talent to care for children in Central Texas. This is the largest endowed gift in the hospital’s history and the second largest gift ever received at Dell Children’s from private philanthropy.

“Dell Children’s is committed to bringing the highest level of care to the children and their families we serve. A named and Endowed Chair, created in perpetuity, represents the highest honor a hospital and university can bestow upon its faculty. An Endowed Chair represents the pinnacle of academic achievement and excellence and is reserved for our most distinguished and productive colleagues. In short, an Endowed Chair is the highest honor a physician leader can be awarded,” said Z. Leah Harris, M.D., Interim President at Dell Children’s Medical Center, Physician in Chief, Dell Children’s Medical Center, Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Dell Medical School, Director, Dell Pediatric Research Institute.

“Philanthropically Endowed Chairs serve as powerful tools for attracting and retaining the world class innovative minds we seek to care for Central Texas children. We congratulate Dr. Fraser and his entire team on this honor and remain grateful to the JLH Foundation for recognizing Dr. Fraser’s exemplary contributions to caring for children and families,” said Dr. Harris.

“We of the Dell Children’s community are honored and humbled by the most generous gift from the JLH Foundation. The JLH Foundation has been committed to the well-being of children through their support of programs for our most vulnerable patients and their families. Their support profoundly helps us in our mission to provide the very best possible care,” said Dr. Charles D. Fraser, Jr., Chief of the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease at Dell Children’s.

The Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease at Dell Children’s is a novel design, uniquely specialized to care for patients from fetal diagnosis well into adulthood. The center houses world renowned clinical talent comprised of both pediatric and adult congenital heart specialists, recruited to Austin from all over the country. This program includes the integration of clinical academics and research-driven initiatives through the exclusive partnership with Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin and UT Health Austin.

Dr. Fraser earned his medical degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, completed a residency in surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a fellowship in pediatric heart surgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. He has developed focused programs in integrated care for children and adolescents with congenital heart disease including cardiopulmonary transplantation.