Susan Fernandes, PA-C


Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Work and Education

Professional Education

PA, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, 1994

About Me

Where did you complete most of your training?

I received my Physician Assistant Certification from Northeastern University in Boston, along with my MHP and LPD, both with concentrations in health policy. My first exposure to congenital heart disease was more than 25 years ago when I was a cardiac sonographer at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). I returned to BCH after PA school and worked there for nearly 20 years before coming to Stanford University in 2013.

What is your special area of interest?

Ensuring access to specialty care for adolescent and adult survivors of congenital heart disease, and assisting in their self-care management skill acquisition to ensure successful transition from pediatric to adult oriented care. Providing evidence through research to improve patient-reported outcomes, patient survival and quality of life.

What is the best thing about working in CHD? 

The best thing about working in CHD is that it is a relatively small community of patients, families and providers. This has allowed me to get to know patients not just professionally but personally, which has been an honor and privilege. The small number of providers globally means we have the opportunity to network with other CHD providers from all over the world, many who have become my good friends.

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

That they need life-long congenital cardiac care and that care should be provided by an adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) specialist in adulthood.

If you weren’t an advanced practice provider, what would you be?

A U.S. National Park Ranger.

Do you have any interesting hobbies or talents or pets?

I love softball, played fast pitch in college and still play today (although co-ed slow pitch for old folks). I love spending time hiking in the national parks with my family. We have visited 30 parks to date and are looking forward to our next adventure. I also can’t forget to mention my dog Roxy- my big teddy bear!