Jennifer Sullivan

Where did you complete most of your training?

I completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in Ontario and have worked in ER, ICU, CVICU, CCU, medical cardiology and medical neurology and have been a Sessional Instructor with the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary.

What is your special area of interest?

I have always loved cardiology from the beginning of my career.  I began taking courses fresh from graduating to advance my knowledge of cardiac care and have loved the experiences I gained by working with people who have had health challenges related directly and indirectly to their heart.  I also love to teach.  I love to help patients to expand their knowledge and encourage best self-care and advocacy. 

What is the best thing about working in CHD?

The people who we see in our clinic.  Patients and their families that have been handed the challenge of being born with a heart defect and are pioneers along with their health care team in laying out a path to live their life to the fullest.  Being able to learn from the patients and their families about their lived experience and growing my love of the heart in a whole new direction.

What is one thing that you think that all patients with CHD should know?

Be in control of what you can control.  Find a great Family Physician who will be the center of your health care, work with your Cardiologist to develop your care plan and know how to contact your Congenital team with heart concerns & questions, seek out people who will support your psychosocial well being (you have been through a lot), and be the manager of your health by being in the know about the heart you were born with and what has been done to you, how you can best take care of you and your heart now and be a part of the planning for your future best health.

If you weren’t a doctor, what would you be?

A civil engineer.  I was halfway through a degree in civil engineering before life and love changed my path towards nursing.  I have always been fascinated by bridges and building structures resistant to earthquakes. 

Do you have any interesting hobbies or talents or pets?

Does keeping my three young sons active and entertained cover as my hobbies, talents and pets??  We love to camp, visit family across Canada, and find new bike trails and playgrounds.