In memoriam Dr. Gerhard Ziemer

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In memoriam

ziemer gerhard

Dr. Gerhard Ziemer
1953 – 2022

We announce with sorrow the sudden passing of our longtime colleague and friend, Gerhard Ziemer.

Gerhard was the Founding President of the European Congenital Heart Surgeons Association and Past President of the Society of Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery “Aldo R. Castañeda”. Gerhard was also a strong advocate for the establishment of the World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery and was a founding member of its Governing Council.

On behalf of the World Society, we express our sincere condolences to his wife, Sabine and to his family.

Farewell dear friend and esteemed colleague!

— WSPCHS Governing Council

In memoriam Dr. Aldo R. Castañeda

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Castaneda in memorium

Dr. Aldo R. Castañeda
July 17, 1930 – April 30, 2021

We announce with sorrow the passing of the Apollonian surgeon, Aldo R. Castañeda. On behalf of the World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, we express our profound gratitude for having blazed the trail for your students and colleagues and helped the lives of so many children around the world! We present our sincere condolences to his wife, Arcely, his children, Claudia, Silvana and Aldo and to all grieving this loss.

Farewell and Godspeed, dear teacher and esteemed colleague!

— WSPCHS Governing Council

We have unlocked the full interview we did with Dr. Castaneda in 2010. You can watch it here.

In memoriam Dr. William I. Norwood

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Bill Norwood
April 21, 1941 – Dec 13, 2020

bill norwood

It is with sadness that we announce the passing on December 13, of the legendary surgeon, Bill Norwood. On behalf of the World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, we thank you Bill for your immense contributions, Farewell, and Godspeed!

WSPCHS Governing Council

Below is a heartfelt message from his colleague and close friend, Marshall Jacobs.

“I write to let you know that Bill Norwood passed away on the evening of December 13, 2020.

Bill and Jodee moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico about three years ago.

Having spent part of his youth in Los Alamos (just 60 miles from Albuquerque), Bill was drawn to the area. He and Jodee loved the geography and the climate in the semi-desert foothills of the Sandia Mountains. Fortunately, they have been visited often by close friends and family.

Bill's passing leaves a tremendous void, in a space occupied for nearly eight decades by one of the true giants in the field of surgery, and a great friend and very special mentor to so many of us.
Isaac Newton is quoted as saying: "If I have seen further, it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants."

Bill was truly a giant in this respect. His genius, his determination, his skill and his generosity have touched so many of us. And individuals in all parts of the world who are engaged in the care of patients with congenital heart disease have "seen further" and been more effective in their work because of Bill's enormous and countless contributions.

Thank you Bill...thank you and farewell!”

Dr. Marshall Jacobs

Message from the President

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I am honored and privileged to have been elected as your President. I cannot be but very proud of what this thriving society has achieved in such a short time. We have had many excellent scientific meetings around the globe covering a wide range of topics. Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World University was established and already held a very successful first webinar. The World Database is growing. The Global Council on Education for Congenital Heart Surgery has conducted multiple town hall meetings and is preparing a very important manuscript. The World Journal, the only journal dedicated to Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, under the leadership of Marshall Jacobs, has taken significant strides establishing itself as one of the leading journals in our specialty. With the World Society’s help and guidance, the African Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery was recently established.

This would not have been possible without the tremendous efforts and dedication of our 1st President and now Executive Director, Christo Tchervenkov, working together with our past presidents, the Executive Committee and the Governing Council making the World Society one of a kind. I express my sincere thanks to all of you, to Christo, to our other ex-presidents, Giovanni Stellin, Hiromi Kurosawa, Richard Jonas and Marcelo Jatene and promise to carry on their legacy. Special thanks to Marshall Jacobs, Editor-in-Chief and to Adam Becker, our Manager.

I am grateful for the tremendous opportunity and for your support. I look forward to serving with enthusiasm to ensure a great future and continued success of our society and for our patients! Sincerely,


Zohair Y. Al Halees, MD, MSC, FACC, FRCSC, FACS

President, World Society for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery
Chairman, Governing Council & Executive Committee

Advisor of Cardiovascular Services to the CEO
Distinguished Senior Cardiac Surgeon / Consultant, Heart Centre
King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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