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Building Sustainable Pediatric Cardiac Programs in LMICs, featuring Dr William Novick and the Novick Cardiac Alliance

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Novick W, Cardarelli M, Marr S, et al. Building Sustainable Pediatric Cardiac Programs in LMICs, featuring Dr William Novick and the Novick Cardiac Alliance. June 2020. doi:10.25373/ctsnet.12493667

This video interviews Dr. William Novick, Paul Nemir Professor of Surgery and International Child Health, UTHSC-Global Surgery Institute and Medical Director of the Novick Cardiac Alliance (NCA) by videoconference as a result of travel bans and stay-at-home mandates born from the COVID-19 pandemic. Broadly speaking, this video covers NCA’s work building capacity and sustainable pediatric cardiac care in LMICs (1), with a special focus on Libya, a country that has been living with civil war and conflict since 2012. Filmed in Benghazi, Libya, this video demonstrates NCA’s mentorship working side-by-side local caregivers which has led to graduated responsibility aimed towards pediatric cardiac care independence in the country. It also introduces the unique perspective of ‘medical diplomacy,’ which the NCA has championed by virtue of working on both sides of the Libyan conflict. Dr Novick describes medical diplomacy as “outside stakeholders bringing supplies, medications, and expertise to assist a country’s healthcare problem…focusing the country’s decision makers on policy changes,” thus leading to sustainable solutions.

The video also highlights the NCA’s work training local Libyan women surgeons, including two senior trainees working in the country’s east and west. It also takes the audience through a typical NCA ‘day-in-the-life’ working at the Benghazi Medical Center, showing NCA’s international teams working together. This spotlights NCA surgeons Dr Marcelo Cardarelli, Dr Vitaly Dedovich, and additionally highlights NCA anesthesiologists, perfusionists, and OR nurses. The video also briefly covers the highlights of a Rastelli operation, performed by Dr Novick, who touches on innovative practices (2, 3) working in challenging international environments such as Libya. Dr Novick also describes the NCA’s case work in Libya from 2012-2020 (nearly 1000 surgeries to date) and ends with how the COVID- 19 pandemic is causing “collateral damage” for children in LMICs with heart disease.


  1. Novick WM, Molloy FJ, Bowtell K, Forsberg B, Pavanić M, Polivenok I, et al. Pediatric cardiac service development programs for low and middle-Income countries in need of improving or initiating services. Front Pediatr. 2019;7:359.
  2. Novick WM, Sandoval N, Lazorhyshynets VV, Baskevitch A, Mo X, Reid RW, Flap valve double patch closure of ventricular septal defects in children with elevated pulmonary vascular resistance. Ann Thorac Surg. 2005;79:21-28.
  3. Gilbert CL, Gnanapragasam J, Benhaggen R, Novick WM. Novel use of extracellular matrix graft for creation of pulmonary valved conduit. World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2011;2(3):495-501.


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