Natchez native joins UMMC's congenital heart surgery teamPublished on Monday, April 18, 2011 Published in Press Releases on April 18, 2011 (PDF)Natchez native Dr. Mary Barraza Taylor has been appointed professor of pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, director of the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit and co-director of the congenital heart center effective April 4."Mary's arrival is another important step in the building of a congenital heart surgery program at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children and indicates our commitment to children with heart defects in Mississippi and the region," said Dr. Jorge Salazar, chief of congenital heart surgery at UMMC. "She is a world-class pediatric cardiac intensivist and one of the very few in the world at her level."Taylor was previously associate professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University and director of pediatric cardiac critical care at Monroe Carell, Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.She received the M.D. at UMMC and completed residency training in pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she also earned the M.S. in clinical investigation and completed fellowships in pediatric cardiology and pediatric critical care. "I feel really blessed to be able to come home to be part of a developing program," said Taylor. "Being able to take care of these children in the way that they can and should be taken care of within the state is exciting."Taylor will be charged with heading up and organizing the pediatric critical care team that treats patients undergoing congenital heart surgery. "Children with congenital heart disease have very specific and special needs in the post-operative period," said Taylor. "Everyone needs to be on their game and having this sub-specialized area in the intensive care unit is essential for a program like this to be able to grow and develop."