Skip to main content

Temporary road closures surrounding Phoenix Children’s Hospital – Thomas Campus. Learn more.

News Release

New Division Chief Rounds Out Top Talent at Phoenix Children's Heart Center

In a move that cements Phoenix Children's position among the nation's top pediatric heart programs, the Heart Center has named John P. Breinholt, III, MD, as Division Chief of Pediatric Cardiology. Dr. Breinholt rounds out a team of top-tier talent at the Heart Center, ranked No. 14 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and one of just 10 programs in North America to earn the Society of Thoracic Surgeons' highest distinction.

Dr. Breinholt comes to Phoenix Children's from the University of Texas-Houston and Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, part of the Texas Medical Center, where he served as Professor and Chief of Pediatric Cardiology and co-director of the Children's Heart Center.

"It's difficult to contain our excitement about Dr. Breinholt's arrival," said Wayne J. Franklin, MD, FACC, Co-Director of the Heart Center and Director of Adult Congenital Heart Disease at Phoenix Children's. "There is no exaggeration in saying our Heart Center has some of the very best physicians and offers the most comprehensive heart care available."

An interventional cardiologist by training, Dr. Breinholt offers special expertise in heart catheterization to provide less invasive treatment of congenital heart defects. Throughout his 20-year career, he has treated thousands of children with a wide range of heart conditions.  He focuses on providing less invasive therapies to some of the most vulnerable patients, which include premature babies weighing less than two pounds. These procedures can help prolong, and even avoid, major surgery for children with heart defects.

"I remember treating a teenager with a large hole in his heart," said Dr. Breinholt. "We placed a device in the hole and rendered his heart structurally normal. He took a big breath and said, 'I've never been able to do that before.' Experiences like that mean everything to me."

At Phoenix Children's, Dr. Breinholt oversees the Heart Center's large Pediatric Cardiology team, and he will also direct the Heart Center's Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

His hiring follows the appointment of Roosevelt Bryant, III, MD, to Surgical Director of the Cardiac Transplantation and Mechanical Assist Device Program at Phoenix Children's Heart Center.

"We have a great team that maintains better-than-expected outcomes in surgery and cardiology care, but we're never done learning, and there are always opportunities to improve," said Daniel Velez, MD, Co-Director of the Heart Center and Division Chief of Cardiothoracic surgery at Phoenix Children's. "Dr. Breinholt's addition is one that rounds us out and expands our services for the growing population of children and families who need heart care in the Southwest."

Dr. Breinholt graduated from the University of Utah School of Medicine, followed by medical training, which includes advanced fellowship training in Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization at Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine. He has served as the cardiology training director at Indiana University School of Medicine and University of Texas McGovern Medical School at Houston, in addition to achieving a host of academic and research honors.

Fluent in both Spanish and English, Dr. Breinholt regularly participates in mission trips around the world, including recurrent visits to Mexico and Bolivia, where he provides cardiology care for children with congenital heart defects and works with top pediatric heart specialists from around the globe.

"His reputation for patient care precedes him," added Dr. Velez. "His genuine concern for his patients has made an indelible mark on countless families over the course of his career."

Phoenix Children's Heart Center cares for hundreds of infants and children each year from across the Southwest and beyond. The team performs more than 500 heart surgeries annually, which includes a large percentage of highly complex cases. With Dr. Breinholt's addition, the team has multiple bilingual physicians who help cater to patients and families who are non-English speaking.

"We are honored to have Dr. Breinholt join our team," said Dr. Franklin. "He is an incredible leader and a compassionate physician who will help bolster Phoenix Children's commitment to provide the best heart care in the nation."

About Phoenix Children’s Heart Center

With a team of committed providers ready to care for patients throughout Arizona and the Southwest region, combined with increasing national recognition of its quality and outcomes, Phoenix Children’s Heart Center has become a premier cardiac program in the United States. Consistenly over the last six years, the Phoenix Children’s Heart Center has earned the highest-achievable three-star rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Better-than-expected survival rates signify Phoenix Children’s congenital cardiothoracic surgery program’s outcomes are among the best in the country. Over the past two years, the Center has grown to include robust fetal cardiology services and a new adult congenital heart disease program, which enables providers to care for heart patients of all ages and at all levels of complexity. For more information about the Phoenix Children’s Heart Center, visit

About Phoenix Children's
Phoenix Children's Hospital is Arizona's only children's hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report's Best Children's Hospitals. For 35 years, Phoenix Children's has provided world-class inpatient, outpatient, trauma, emergency and urgent care to children and families in Arizona and throughout the Southwest. As one of the largest children's hospitals in the country, Phoenix Children's delivers care across more than 75 pediatric specialties. Recognized specifically for its patient-focused innovation, medical education, growth and research, Phoenix Children's was named Business of the Year and Exceptional Innovator by the Greater Phoenix Chamber in 2018. For more information about the hospital, visit

Share this page