We’re excited to shine the spotlight on our cardiovascular staff this month for Heart Month!
Niyati Patel, MD
Dr. Niyati Patel, physician at the Children’s Heart Clinic, was raised just across the border in Hudson, Wis. She graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering. She attended medical school at Ross University Medical School. Her pediatric residency was completed at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. which was followed by a fellowship in pediatric critical care medicine with a strong emphasis in cardiovascular intensive care at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C.
Her special medical interests include enhancing patient care by focusing on patient safety, quality assurance and improving efficiency with the use of medical informatics. She also completed a year-long training in safety, quality, informatics and leadership through Harvard Medical School. She is board certified in both pediatrics and pediatric critical care medicine.
Dr. Patel lives near the Twin Cities and enjoys running, snowboarding, singing and spending time with her two elementary school children and husband who is also a physician.
We’re highlighting Leah Zupancich – she’s a pediatric cardiovascular surgery physician assistant.
Leah attended school to become a physician assistant at St. Louis University Doisy College of Health Sciences. She joined the Children’s Heart Clinic in 2008 and her clinical interest is in surgical repair of congenital heart disease.
Leah’s family includes her husband, Troy, and they have two children: Nathan who is 10 years old and Emilia who is 8 years old. Leah enjoys spending time with my family and friends, travelling (pre-COVID) and spending time together doing outdoor activities.
Robroy H. MacIver MD, MPH
Dr. Robroy MacIver, director of heart failure and transplant, grew up in northern Minn. and attended the University of Minnesota Medical School. He completed residencies at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Ill., University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Wash. and The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Australia.
He made his way back to Minn. and is board certified in general surgery, congenital cardiac surgery and thoracic and cardiac surgery.
Since 2016, he has been with the Children’s Heart Clinic and is part of seven medical associations. His medical interests are complex neonatal repairs and aortic reconstruction.
Dr. MacIver lives in Minneapolis with his wife, kids and dog and enjoys both winter and summer skiing, as well as the occasional triathlon.
R. Erik Edens MD, PhD
Dr. Erik Edens, medical director of heart failure and transplant, grew up in eastern Iowa and attended the University of Iowa Medical School and College of Pharmacy for his doctorate. He completed pediatric residency and cardiology fellowship also at the University of Iowa. Early in his career, he was the first medical director of the Pediatric Heart Transplant Program at the University of Iowa and an ICU attending. Later he worked at Arkansas Children’s Hospital as a transplant physician and immune tolerance researcher. Next, he returned to the University of Iowa again as medical director of the Pediatric Heart Transplant Program and the first quality and safety officer for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. He joined Children’s Minnesota in early 2018 to start the pediatric heart transplant program.
Since 2018, he has been with the Children’s Heart Clinic and is part of numerous transplant, mechanical support and heart failure organizations. His research interests are in immune function in heart failure and innovative immune strategies following heart transplant.
Dr. Edens lives in Bloomington where he enjoys remodeling projects, golf and following Hawkeye sports. He also enjoys trips to Iowa to visit with his kids and family, as well as to do projects at his hobby farm.
Children’s Minnesota cardiovascular team
Our team of 200+ cardiovascular professionals from Children’s Minnesota and The Children’s Heart Clinic, along with many collaborating partners, have a wealth of experience and are dedicated to improving the lives of our patients.