Medical advisory board

Dr. Henry L. Walters, III, M.D.

Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery, Children's Hospital of Michigan

Dr. Walters decided to become a physician when he was 18 years of age. After observing a cardiac surgeon operate, Dr. Walters decided that the field of cardiac surgery would be his life-long pursuit as well.

Dr. Walters attended Rice University where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology and graduated, Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. For the next four years he attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston where his desire to become a surgeon became even more resolute. After graduating Alpha Omega Alpha from Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Walters pursued general surgical training at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

During his six years of general surgical training he spent five at the Massachusetts General Hospital and one year as an exchange resident at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, England. During his general surgical training, Dr. Walters was attracted to all forms of surgery with which he came into contact; however, the allure of cardiac surgery continued to draw him toward that field.

Accordingly, he accepted a position as a special research fellow in the laboratories of John Kirklin, M.D. at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he conducted pediatric cardiac surgical research for one year. Following that experience he entered the two-year cardiothoracic surgical training program at the University of Alabama under the direction of Albert Pacifico, M.D. After completing this cardiothoracic surgical residency, he spent a fourth and final year as a special pediatric cardiac surgical fellow under Dr. Pacifico.

At the completion of his cardiovascular surgical training, there were only two full-time pediatric cardiac surgical positions available in the United States. One was at Columbus Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and the other at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. Dr. Walters was immediately attracted to Children’s Hospital of Michigan because of the extraordinary history of the pediatric cardiac surgical program, the quality and dedication of the entire medical staff and the chance to mature under the mentorship of Medhi Hakimi, M.D. In 2000 Dr. Walters became Chief of the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery after working with Dr. Hakimi for a decade. During his 15 years at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Dr. Walters has developed a professional interest in the single-stage surgical treatment of complex congenital cardiac diseases in neonates and young infants. Dr. Walters, however, considers it a privilege to operate upon any patient of any age who is born with any form of congenital heart disease. Dr. Walters’ research interests include the applications of tissue engineering to the treatment of congenital heart disease and clinical research studies in pediatric cardiac surgery.

Dr. Walters attributes any success in his life to the providence of God. Katherine, his wife, and his two daughters, Hannah and Grace, are his greatest joys.

Dr. Carlen A. Gomez-Fifer

Pediatric Cardiology, Associate Professor, C.S. Mott Children's Hospital

Although not from Michigan originally, Dr. Carlen Gomez-Fifer has spent a lot of time in Ann Arbor. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, and her medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Gomez-Fifer then returned to Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor for pediatric residency, and fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology. After completing her fellowship, Dr. Gomez-Fifer joined the faculty at the University of Michigan as an attending pediatric cardiologist in echocardiography. She is trained in all areas of echocardiography including transesophageal and fetal echocardiography, and she is the director of the Prenatal Heart Center at the University of Michigan. Dr. Gomez-Fifer is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics, a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, and a member of the American Society of Echocardiography.

Dr. Nancy G. Cutler

Pediatric Cardiology, William Beaumont Hospital

Dr. Nancy Cutler loves being a pediatric cardiologist. In fact, since 8 years of age, she has known specifically that she wanted to be a cardiologist. In medical school, she learned more about the specialty and then decided that she really had a desire to work in pediatrics. Dr. Cutler graduated from the University of Michigan and then went to Wayne State University School of Medicine. After graduating medical school in 1989, she went on to do her Pediatric residency as well as her pediatric cardiology fellowship at Children's Hospital of Michigan. During her fellowship years, she met her husband Michael and had her first son. Her first position out of fellowship was in Toledo, Ohio where she formed a wonderful relationship with her patients. To this day, some of Dr. Cutler’s first patients and their families drive to Michigan just to see her.

In 2000, Dr. Cutler moved to Detroit to work at Beaumont Hospital and to be closer to her family. She has the unique and privileged opportunity to work with two great pediatric institutions here in Michigan, Children’s of Detroit, and U of M Mott Children’s Hosptial.

Dr. Cutler has a special interest in fetal echocardiography and non-invasive cardiology. She loves the opportunity to meet with families even before their baby is born and hopes that she can help them through the difficult but joyous times.

Dr. Cutler is truly an empathetic caregiver. In her words, she “takes everything home with her". When her patients or parents are tearful, she cries with them. When they are happy, she shares in their joy. Her wonderful husband, Michael can attest to that. She and Michael have two amazing boys who are ten and twelve years old.

On a personal note, Dr. Cutler enjoys running, biking, swimming, triathlons, hiking, reading, tennis and eating. Chocolate chip cookies are her favorite!