A physician and professor with a “heart” for Pediatric Cardiology
Dr. Rene Herlong is Attending Pediatric Cardiologist at The Sanger Clinic in Charlotte, NC; Division Chief, Pediatric Cardiology at the Sanger Heart and Vascular Institute in Charlotte; and Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received his M.D. from the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, NC. Dr. Herlong completed his residency in Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.
Why Dr. Herlong was nominated:
- Dr. Herlong is not only an exceptional physician but also a powerful positive force in the lives of his patients. He has an amazing way of putting the children at ease, and making their appointments fun and engaging.
- He also empowers the children with knowledge, explaining their heart disease in ways they can understand.
- He is a founding member of Camp LUCK (Lucky Unlimited Cardiac Kids), an organization that supports children with congenital heart disease and their families. He encourages all of his patients and their parents to come to camp, and actively participates in all camp activities with them.
Dr. Herlong is an inspiration to both me and my family. He is always kind, knowledgeable – and goes far above and beyond what any physician is expected to do. He has even offered to be with my son during his next heart surgery. He is amazing. And we love him.”
In Dr. Herlong’s own words:
What does being a doctor mean to you?
For me, it’s about helping people and watching kids grow up and become wonderful human beings. Those are the two most important things.”
Can you tell us about your community involvement or volunteer work?
Camp LUCK started as a summer camp for kids with heart disease. I have a long history with summer camp, having been involved with Camp Cherokee since 1997 – I always wanted to do something similar. I partnered with a parents’ support organization, Levine Cardiac Kids, to start a weekend family camp for kids with heart disease. Now, Camp LUCK is in its fourth year and has just merged with Levine Cardiac Kids to become a full-service family support organization, offering everything from clothes, childcare support and mentoring to those in need.”
How would you use the award money?
I would donate it to Camp LUCK. The $5000 would send 10 kids to camp. Camp is free to participants but expenses are $500 per child.”