Best Doctors - Dr. Hennein

Dr. Hani A. Hennein 
Pediatric cardiothoracic surgery
Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital
What he does: One of only 26 U.S. pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons, Hennein treats children — and some adults — born with congenital heart and lung defects, often operating on newborn hearts about the size of a thumb tip. Under Hennein’s leadership, Rainbow ranks highest nationally in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery outcomes, with an average 1.7 percent mortality rate.

They didn’t teach this in med school: Treating children requires special consideration for the crowd of people who come with that child, from parents and siblings to pediatricians and nurses. They are all emotionally invested in that child.”

Best place in Cleveland to exercise? Biking in the Metroparks.

He collects: Old medical books. His fave is a 1940s-era text by Helen Taussig, considered the founder of pediatric cardiology. “It’s a real treasure.”

On cold stethoscopes: “Keep ‘em around your neck because even though doctors have cold hands, we have very warm hearts.”

His longest wait to see a doc? Two hours. “When I go, I don’t make a public announcement that I’m a doctor. If you’re a VIP patient, they’re overzealous in their treatment, and it increases your risk a bit. But it is very annoying.”

World traveler: Hennein travels to Africa — where he grew up in a missionary family — regularly to help establish congenital heart defect treatment centers. “For every one African child with HIV, there are 10 with congenital heart defects.”

“House,” “Grey’s Anatomy” or “ER”? House.” “There’s a pediatric neurologist at Rainbow who very much resembles that guy.” — Jennifer Keirn

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