In 1995, Miami Children's Hospital recognized an institutional problem with its programme providing surgical treatment for congenital cardiac malformations. There was a high rate of mortality for neonatal surgery, and no patients had survived attempted first stage palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The hospital enlisted nationally recognized consultants in congenital cardiac surgery and cardiology to review the existing programme, and to make recommendations for improvement. Based on these recommendations, a new team was recruited. The recruits were a young attending surgeon, an interventional cardiologist, and a cardiac intensivist, attracted from recognized centers of excellence in Boston and Toronto.