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William Novick, M.D.

January 27, 2005

Dr. William Novick, medical director and CEO of the International Children's Heart Foundation (ICHF), made his first trip to Houston on Thursday, January 27, 2005, to speak to friends and supporters of Literacy Advance of Houston. Named the first Champion of Literacy for 2005, Dr. Novick arrived in Houston shortly after working in the tsunami disaster area in India.

Dr. Novick's book, Healing the Heart of Croatia, was written in 1998. Through the stories of 12 children in war-torn Croatia, he and co-author Joseph Kerrigan, a Catholic priest, tell of their experiences in helping children with congenital heart disease who would have been unable to receive necessary medical treatment without the ICHF. Dr. Novick established the ICHF in 1994, and since then, he and his volunteer staff of more than 500 doctors, nurses and technicians have provided surgical care to more than 2,000 children in 17 countries.

The Champions of Literacy event recognizes those individuals whose life experiences have led them to author books on subjects close to them. Dr. Novick is the fifth author to be honored. Previous Champion of Literacy recipients include Houston Comets Coach Van Chancellor and former White House Press Secretary Peter Roussel. Literacy Advance of Houston, a United Way Agency since 1983, is in its 41st year of helping Houston residents to read, write and communicate in English so they can achieve their highest potential as parents, workers, citizens and community members.

Dr. Novick also is the featured pediatric cardiac surgeon in the film Chernobyl Heart, winner of the 2004 Academy Award® for Documentary Short Subject. Chernobyl Heart examines the continuing impact of the 1986 Chernobyl explosion, the worst nuclear accident in history. The United Nations estimates three to four million children from the area suffer from the effects of the. An average of 900 Belorussian children per year are born with congenital heart defects, some of which are directly related to the Chernobyl disaster.

Dr. Novick is the Paul Nemir Professor of International Child Health at the University of Tennessee. He received the "Best Doctors in America" designation from 2001-2004 and was recognized as one of "America's Top Surgeons" for 2004-05. More information about the ICHF is available on their website.

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