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Children's Mercy honors Dr. Girish Shirali as inaugural recipient of O'Donnell Chair in Pediatric Cardiology

Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., announced today that Girish Shirali, MBBS, FASE, FACC, has been named as the inaugural holder of the newly established Melva and Randall L. O'Donnell, PhD, Chair in Pediatric Cardiology at Children's Mercy Hospital.

Dr. Shirali, Division Director of Cardiology and Co-Director of The Ward Family Heart Center at Children's Mercy, received the honor during an investiture ceremony on Nov. 12 at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center.

The O'Donnell chair will generate income in perpetuity to support the future of Cardiology at Children's Mercy. It will strengthen the hospital's capacity to add professional and technical resources that will enable better treatment of heart failure patients, including heart transplant surgery at Children's Mercy.

"For a clinical researcher and program builder like me," said Dr. Shirali, "this is the biggest opportunity in the country to make a meaningful difference in optimizing the clinical care model, developing research initiatives and, ultimately, potentially improving outcomes and quality of life of children with heart disease."

Dr. Shirali's recent work is focused on developing ways to validate echo measurements compared to gold standard techniques such as cardiac MRI, with the goal of identifying new technologies that are relevant and effective. He also is leading an investigation of the impact of certain cardiac interventions on the structure and function of the heart. He leads the Echocardiography Core Laboratory for an FDA study examining the effects of placing a transcatheter pulmonary valve, a technology that could replace surgery for many patients. He has participated in the NIH-funded Pediatric Heart Network since 2001.

Dr. Shirali joined Children's Mercy in 2012. He has delivered more than 270 lectures, organized more than 40 workshops, published more than 80 peer-reviewed articles and presented more than 80 abstracts.

President and CEO of Children's Mercy since 1993, Dr. O'Donnell has overseen the growth of the workforce from 1,600 employees in 1993 to more than 6,000 today. Melva O'Donnell has been a leading figure and source of support for Children's Mercy patients and families through her many years of volunteer service.

Endowed chairs provide ongoing financial support for research and education, and are of strategic importance to elevating the hospital's academic profile and stature as a national leader in clinical care. The investment income of the original gift to establish a chair generates income annually. The principal of the gift is held by the Children's Mercy Hospital Foundation.

Children's Mercy Endowed Chairs
Michael Artman, MD
Joyce C. Hall Distinguished
Professor of Pediatrics

George W. Holcomb III, MD, MBA
The Katharine B. Richardson
Chair in Pediatric Surgery

Richard A. Hopkins, MD
The Thomas Holder/Keith Ashcraft
Chair in Pediatric Surgical Research

Gregory L. Kearns, PharmD, PhD
The Marion Merrell Dow/Missouri
Chair in Pediatric Medical Research

J. Steven Leeder, PharmD, PhD
The Marion Merrell Dow/Missouri
Chair in Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology
Bradford W. Olney, MD
The Dr. Rex and Lillian Dively
Chair in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery

Lanny J. Rosenwasser, MD
The Dee Lyons/Missouri
Chair in Pediatric Immunology Research

Girish S. Shirali, MBBS, FASE, FACC
Melva and Randall L. O'Donnell, Ph.D.
Chair in Pediatric Cardiology

William E. Truog III, MD
The Sosland Chair in Neonatology Research

Shui Qing Ye, MD, PhD
William R. Brown/Missouri Endowed
Chair in Medical Genetics and Molecular Medicine

About Children's Mercy Hospital
Children's Mercy, located in Kansas City, Mo., is one of the nation's top pediatric medical centers. The 354-bed hospital provides care for children from birth through the age of 21, and has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of "America's Best Children's Hospitals" and recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet designation for excellence in nursing services. Its faculty of 600 pediatricians and researchers across more than 40 subspecialties are actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research, and educating the next generation of pediatric subspecialists.