/////Pediatric Heart Specialist Jaquiss Begins Work at ACH, UAMS
Pediatric Heart Specialist Jaquiss Begins Work at ACH, UAMS 2018-01-05T09:15:51+00:00

Nov. 3, 2005 | Robert D.B. “Jake” Jaquiss, M.D., of Milwaukee, looked around the country and saw few opportunities better than that offered at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and Arkansas Children’s Hospital as chief of pediatric and congenital cardiac surgery.

So Jaquiss decided to move to Arkansas, a state largely unknown to him and his family. He joined UAMS/ACH on Nov. 1.

Most recently he has served as an associate professor of surgery and senior cardiothoracic attending physician at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Jaquiss’ practice has focused on neonatal cardiac surgery, pediatric cardiac surgery including transplantation, and the surgical care of adults with congenital heart disease.

Jaquiss said he chose to leave Milwaukee because there are few programs as good as that at UAMS and Children’s Hospital. Despite the death of Jonathan Drummond-Webb, M.D. — whose position Jaquiss will occupy — the pediatric cardiac surgery program has maintained its national reputation, he said.

What makes it strong is an outstanding team of specialists, he said, mentioning UAMS’ Michiaki Imamura, M.D., pediatric cardiovascular surgeon, Robert Morrow, M.D., chief of pediatric cardiology, and Michael Schmitz, M.D., chief of cardiac anesthesia, as physicians who have helped continue the tradition of exceptional results for ACH’s heart patients.

“They are all acknowledged national leaders of outstanding reputation, and I am absolutely delighted to be joining physicians of their caliber,” Jaquiss said.

Jaquiss also brings an exceptional reputation to the pediatric team, said UAMS College of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.

“Dr. Jaquiss is recognized as a national leader and an outstanding pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon who has pioneered multiple procedures for congenital heart disease surgery,” Reece said.

When Jaquiss began learning his specialty, he said he found that he had a knack for the technically demanding field. He also maintains a low-key, even-keeled approach that has kept him on course through the highs and lows of the job. He credits his wife for understanding the severe demands on his time as they have raised three children: a son now in college and two daughters at home.

Jaquiss says that encountering infants and children with major heart defects is stressful and sometimes discouraging, but the job offers great rewards, too. While babies are fragile in some respects, he said, they’re more resilient than adults.

The specialty also is a collegial one, he said. Rather than compete with each other, pediatric heart surgeons are like a team whose members know they must work together to succeed.

“I think it’s the coolest of the specialties,” Jaquiss said.

Jaquiss is a graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in general surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and his fellowship in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

His first academic appointment was in 1995 at the University of Miami, where he had an active practice in pediatric cardiac surgery and founded the adult and pediatric lung transplant programs. Later he was recruited to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, joining one of the top five programs in pediatric cardiac surgery in the country.

Jaquiss is a member of numerous surgical societies and professional organizations, including the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the 21st Century Cardiac Surgical Society, the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, and the Midwest Pediatric Cardiology Society. He has provided frequent reviews and commentary for the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

He has published extensively in scientific literature and presented his work at national and international meetings. He also has served as principal investigator on several basic science and clinical research projects.