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Local Doctor’s Mission to Provide Cardiac Care to Children in Developing Countries

Staff Report

Dr. William Novick

Dr. William Novick, a world-renowned pediatric cardiac surgeon, has been on a mission to provide life-saving cardiac care to children in developing countries for over three decades. He founded the Novick Cardiac Alliance in 2014, which strives to provide care to children with congenital or acquired heart disease in the developing world. Novick and his teams have worked in 54 cities in 34 countries, providing over 10,000 children with operations and medical care.

Most countries have received a sustained repeated pattern of assistance including 2 to 4 visits per year for at least 3 years, with 90% of such programs now performing independent pediatric cardiac surgery. The success of the Novick Cardiac Alliance is not only due to Novick’s expertise and dedication, but also to his ability to recruit a group of clinical experts in the field of pediatric cardiac care who share his passion and vision to help eradicate the suffering caused by congenital heart disease in the developing world.

Novick is a graduate of University of Alabama School of Medicine and completed his General Surgical Residency at the Graduate Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania before entering the Cardiothoracic Residency at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He completed the cardiothoracic program and remained for 2 years as Congenital Cardiac Fellow.

After 2 years as the sole pediatric cardiac surgeon at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Women and Children, he joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee as a pediatric cardiac surgeon where he was made the Paul Nemir Professor of Surgery and International Child Health in 1999. In 1993, Novick founded and then led the International Children’s Heart Foundation until October 2014 when he resigned to create the Novick Cardiac Alliance. Dr. Novick is a member of the STS, EACTS, STSA, WSPCHS and serves on the Executive Committee of the IQIC.

Over the years, Novick has authored multiple papers on congenital heart disease, contributed to several books on pediatric heart disease, intensive care, and thoracic trauma, as well as co-authored “Healing the Heart of Croatia.” His contributions to the field of pediatric cardiac care have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery in 2020.

Novick’s work has not only saved thousands of lives, but also helped build sustainable pediatric cardiac care programs in developing countries. The Novick Cardiac Alliance’s approach is not just about performing surgeries but also about building long-term partnerships with local medical teams, providing education, and training, and improving infrastructure. Novick lives in Memphis with his wife Elizabeth and one of their children. The loving couple together has five children, Novick stated “yes all of my children love medicine and helping people” when asked if any of his children followed in his footsteps. One of his daughters has been out of country as well serving and helping children in areas that are less fortunate. 

Novick’s dedication to providing life-saving cardiac care to children in developing countries is an inspiration to many. His work has brought hope and healing to families who would otherwise not have access to the care they need. The Novick Cardiac Alliance’s impact on pediatric cardiac care in the developing world will continue to be felt for generations to come.

For more information, go to www.cardiac-alliance.org.

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