A Heart for Kansas’ Kids; Wichita Native Tuan Nguyen, MD, Joins Kansas Kids Heart Center

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Kansas Kids Heart Center’s (KKHC’s) commitment to compassionate, state-of-the-art care for children and young adults has built up the Wichita practice’s client base and reputation since Mohamad Al-Ahdab, MD, FAAP, CCDS, founded the practice in 2010.

Dr. Al-Ahdab, known in the Wichita medical community as Dr. Mo, says the practice specializes in pediatric cardiology and serves a diverse population.

“We’re continuing to grow. We’re a private practice, and we provide a range of services — anything from fetal echocardiogram for pregnant moms with concerns or possible risk for congenital heart defects to newborns with heart problems or children with acquired or congenital heart problems,” Dr. Mo says. “We also provide care for adults with congenital heart problems. We have a wide spectrum. If you walk through my clinic any day, you see a pregnant mom here for a fetal echocardiogram sitting next to a child here for evaluation of heart murmur next to an adult in his 30s who has grown up with a congenital heart problem.”

The work requires a particular passion for and commitment to the community, both of which Dr. Mo says can be found in Tuan Nguyen, MD, FAAP, who is returning to his hometown of Wichita to join Dr. Mo at KKHC.

Welcoming Dr. Nguyen

Dr. Nguyen brings his experience as a Pediatric Cardiology Fellow at Miami Children’s Hospital and his interest in echocardiography to his new role, as well as a number of ideas to grow the practice’s reach within Wichita and into underserved surrounding areas.

Tuan Nguyen, MD, and Mohamad Al-Ahdab, MD, review a patient’s test results during Dr. Nguyen’s first week at Kansas Kids Heart Center. Dr. Al-Ahdab, known in the medical community as Dr. Mo, founded the practice in 2010 and recently hired Dr. Nguyen, a Wichita native with experience as a Pediatric Cardiology Fellow at Miami Children’s Hospital.

“It’s my hometown. I grew up here and I worked here for a while after residency as well,” Dr. Nguyen says. “I knew when I was doing residency there was a big need for cardiology here. I still have a passion for it and wanted to come back here, so getting the opportunity to come back here with Dr. Mo was great.”

This isn’t the first time the two have crossed paths in the medical field.

“I did residency here in town at Wesley and was a hospitalist there for two years,” Dr. Nguyen says.

“I knew he wanted to do a cardiology fellowship, so we talked a little bit at that time,” Dr. Mo says. “I encouraged him to pursue cardiology, and he ended up going to Miami Children’s Hospital.”

In Miami, Dr. Nguyen saw pathologies common to medically underserved nations around the world. While Wichita’s pathologies differ significantly, Dr. Nguyen says there are some striking similarities, particularly regarding access to medical care.

“You get people from rural areas who have to go 50–100 miles to see a cardiologist, and especially a pediatric cardiologist,” Dr. Nguyen says.

The pathologies help frame some of the opportunities Drs. Mo and Nguyen hope to pursue together.

“I spoke with Dr. Mo about potential outreach clinics in other communities,” Dr. Nguyen says, adding these could be one-day opportunities in areas around the state. “I think that would be good for areas where they have issues with access to care.”

“We see a lot of patients from outside of Wichita and from all over Kansas,” Dr. Mo says, noting patients come from as far as Liberal, Topeka, Hays and Pittsburg within Kansas, as well as from Oklahoma.

Access is constantly at the forefront for the staff at KKHC, who are committed to providing appointments within two weeks of an initial referral, if not sooner.

From there, patients benefit from the physicians’ extensive professional network.

“We both trained in top, premier places and we’re trying to provide that service,” says Dr. Mo, who completed his pediatrics residency at the University of Illinois in Chicago and fellowships at the University of Michigan and Harvard University. “We’re not really connected with one particular surgical center, so we try to send each baby where the particular outcome would be best. I’ve built, over the years, all these connections. We have access to each place’s data outcomes, and we try to look specifically at the particular lesion.”

Dr. Nguyen now will add the experience and networks he gained in one of the nation’s busiest programs as he cares for children in his hometown.

Tuan Nguyen, MD, has returned to his hometown of Wichita as a pediatric cardiologist to practice alongside Mohamad al-Ahdab, MD. Kansas Kids Heart Center has grown and diversified throughout the past six years, providing top-of-the-line care for children from all across Kansas.

Dr. Nguyen says this is a fitting opportunity because it was the birth of his oldest child, now age 14, that set him on his path toward medical school in the first place.

“I was always into engineering so I went to Dallas and had an engineering scholarship, but with the birth of my first daughter and dealing with her and the pediatrician, I got really interested in medicine, so I pursued medicine at that point,” Dr. Nguyen says. “Everyone finds their path in medical school, and pediatric cardiology is my calling.”

For more information about KKHC or to schedule appointments with Dr. Nguyen or Dr. Mo, please visit kansaskidsheartcenter.com or call the office, located at 7015 E. Central, Suite 2, in Wichita, at 316-440-8800.