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Frank Cetta, MD, Board Member

What’s unique about Heart to Heart is its track record of developing self-sustaining programs. At more than half a dozen Heart to Heart partner sites abroad, new cardiac teams have already achieved annual surgical volumes and survival outcomes comparable to those of large centers in the United States. We like to say that it’s not about how many surgical cases we perform or patients we treat while we’re on a mission, it’s about how many patients get operated on by our colleagues after Heart to Heart leaves.”


Dr. Frank Cetta has been a Heart to Heart medical volunteer since 2004, when he and other physicians from the Mayo Clinic helped us establish our first program for adult congenital heart patients, in St. Petersburg. Since then, he has spent almost all of his “vacation time” with Heart to Heart. As a medical volunteer, Dr. Cetta has provided leadership on 18 surgical-educational missions: 16 in Russia and, most recently, two in Peru.

From 2006–2012, Dr. Cetta played a pivotal role in guiding our colleagues in Tomsk, Siberia to reach programmatic self-sustainability. He led all seven of our annual surgical-educational teaching missions to Tomsk. During that same time, he also hosted several colleagues from Tomsk at the Mayo Clinic and at his home. Dr. Cetta is currently a lead pediatric cardiologist on our training missions in Kaliningrad, Chelyabinsk, and Lima. A bona fide Heart-to-Heartnik, Dr. Cetta has made superb contributions in recruiting new top-notch medical volunteers for Heart to Heart as we continue to expand our programs.

Dr. Cetta is Division Chair of Pediatric Cardiology at the Mayo Clinic, for which he lectures all over the world. Dr. Cetta is a talented and effective teacher in diverse settings, from the echo lab, cath lab, and operating room, to interdisciplinary case conferences and large lecture halls. He instinctively models professionalism and best practices in cardiac medicine, including the art of teamwork.

You can read more about Dr. Cetta’s work at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.