Skip to Main Content
Skip Navigation Links

The Willson Heart Center

Dr. Caton and patient Offering advanced technology and state-of-the-art therapeutics for congenital cardiovascular disease and pediatric acquired cardiovascular disease, The Willson Heart Center at Valley Children's Hospital provides the highest levels of cardiac care in a low key, family-centered environment.

Cardio SurgeryThe Willson Heart Center is a high-volume multidisciplinary center serving over 8,000 children and families a year, with over 13,000 combined visits, day surgeries and inpatient stays.  The department is fully integrated with the complete range of services offered at Valley Children’s Hospital, including imaging, laboratory work, surgical suites, cardiac intensive care, interpreter services and case workers. Care is provided in both inpatient and outpatient settings. The Willson Heart Center is centrally located in our main building, providing ease of access to all other services. The affiliation of The Heart Center at Valley Children’s with the Cardiothoracic Surgery Program at Stanford University makes our service a part of the largest pediatric cardiothoracic surgical program in North America.

Heart Center Programs:

  • Cardiology: Cardiology services are provided on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. Emergency cardiac services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Read more about Cardiology...
  • Cardiac Surgery: The Valley Children’s Cardiothoracic Surgery Program provides the highest quality comprehensive intraoperative and post-operative care. The Cardiothoracic Surgery team is part of the Northern California regional congenital heart program affiliated with Stanford University. Each year, surgeons in the the program perform over 1,000 cardiothoracic operations which include the full spectrum...Read more about Children's Cardiac Surgery program...
  • Dr. Owada in the Cath lab Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory:  The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory offers all currently available pediatric diagnostic and interventional procedures for children with congenital and acquired heart disease. With advanced endovascular therapeutics, the physicians in the ‘cath lab’ can now close a hole in a child’s heart through a 1/8 inch skin puncture. Read more about the Cath Lab...
  • Cardiology Testing Center:The Cardiac Testing Center provides non-invasive diagnostic services for children and expectant mothers. With a goal of ensuring that all infants and children with heart disease have access to effective, compassionate, and innovative cardiac testing services, we provide echocardiography (transthoracic, transesophageal and fetal), electrocardiography (EKG or ECG), holter and multi-event EKG monitoring, pacemaker analysis and reprogramming. Read more about the Cardiology Testing Center...
  • Exercise Laboratory: The Valley Children’s Cardiopulmonary Exercise Laboratory provides diagnostic testing for pediatric patients with suspected or known cardiopulmonary and/or pulmonary disease. The staff of registered respiratory therapists perform pulmonary function testing, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, bronchial provocation, and metabolic studies along with treatment, education and evaluation. Read more about The Exercise Laboratory...

Programs Affiliated with the Heart Center:

  • Prenatal Diagnostic Center: Valley Children’s offers an unparalleled approach to prenatal diagnosis through our Prenatal Diagnostic Center. We provide a full range of diagnostic testing from amniocentesis and genetic testing to 3-D and 4-D sonograms and Fetal Echocardiograms. Our multidisciplinary team of highly trained medical professionals — with access to state-of-the-art diagnostic technology and comprehensive screenings over the course of a pregnancy — is unmatched in its ability to determine the health and condition of a mother’s baby before birth. Read more about The Prenatal Diagnostic Center...
  • Minimal Blood Loss Surgery: Minimal blood loss options are available for those who wish to minimize the use of donor blood during medical and surgical procedures. The Willson Heart Center works closely with the staff at the Valley Children’s Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery. Our physicians are committed to upholding the personal, religious, or medical wishes of those who desire the use of alternatives to blood transfusion. Read more about Minimal Blood Loss...

In addition, Heart Center physicians practice in the Merced Pediatric Subspecialty Center and the Modesto Pediatric Subspecialty Center.

The Heart Center Team

The professional team at The Willson Heart Center offers services throughout a child’s entire continuum of care. We utilize:
  • Pediatric Cardiologists
  • Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgeons 
  • Pediatric Perfusionists
  • Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiologists
  • Pediatric Intensivists
  • Cardiology Testing Laboratory Professionals
  • Catheterization Laboratory Professionals
  • Dieticians
  • Social Workers
  • Translation Services

Heart Center Locations

The Willson Heart Center
at Valley Children’s Hospital

9300 Valley Children’s Place
Madera, California

The Merced Pediatric Subspecialty Center
1190 Olivewood Drive, Suite A
Merced, California

The Modesto Pediatric Subspecialty Center
Specialty Medical Group
1524 McHenry Avenue, Suite 570
Modesto, California

Other Affiliations: Stanford University, Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, Kaweah Delta Hospital in Visalia

Patient Satisfaction

Patient satisfaction at the Willson Heart Center is measured using the Press-Ganey Outpatient and Inpatient Pediatric Reports, national studies comparing children’s hospitals from throughout the United States. In the outpatient study The Willson Heart Center scored in the 90th percentile in all categories, and in the inpatient study we were in the 99th percentile in all categories. These exceptionally high patient satisfaction scores put us at the top of our class and reflect the importance we place on a family’s comfort and experience while they are in our care.

Jane Seddon Willson

Jane Seddon WillsonValley Children’s received a $1 million donation In 2006 from Georgia philanthropist Jane Seddon Willson. This gift serves as a catalyst to grow an endowment designed to help The Willson Heart Center continue to provide world-class care to California’s children.

Mrs. Willson’s gift honors her daughter Jane H. Willson, Vice President of Corporate Development at Children’s, and her son-in-law Dr. Malcolm J. MacDonald, a pediatric cardiac surgeon at the Heart Center.  The center was named The Willson Heart Center at Children’s Hospital in appreciation of the donation.

Jane Seddon Willson is President of Sunnyland Farms in Albany, Georgia, founded by Jane and her husband Harry in 1948. The company specializes in selling pecans, candy and nuts. The Willsons have been strong supporters of education and healthcare programs in Georgia.