Areas of Expertise
Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Neonatal Cardiac Surgery, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Single Ventricle Congenital Heart Disease
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC)
Duke University (Durham, NC; 1986-1987)
Surgery - Duke University (Durham, NC; 1987-1993)
Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery - University of California at Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA; 1995-1996)
Congenital Cardiac Surgery - American Board of Thoracic Surgery, Thoracic & Cardiac Surgery - American Board of Thoracic Surgery, Surgery - American Board of Surgery
Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
Awards & Recognition
Best Doctors in America - U.S. News & World Report (2009-2013), America's Top Surgeons - U.S. News & World Report (2007-2016), Who's Who in Academic Medicine (2012), Davison Society Excellence in Teaching Award - Duke University (1995), North Carolina Board of Governor's Scholar (1982-1986)
Philosophy of Care
Care for each child as if they were your own; Care for each patient as if they were family
OSF Children's Hospital of Illinois,
OSF Saint Francis Medical Center
Dr. Plunkett received his Bachelor of Science degree from Duke University and his Medical Degree at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He completed his Residency training in General and Cardiothoracic Surgery at Duke University Medical Center. He also received subspecialty Fellowship training in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Cardiac Transplantation at UCLA Medical Center.
His career began at the University of Illinois and the Children’s Hospital of Illinois at OSF Medical Center where he performed heart surgery on children and adults for three years prior to being recruited back to UCLA. He was an Associate Professor of Surgery and Program Director for the Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency and Fellowship Training Programs at UCLA for ten years.
He then served as Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Director of the Pediatric Heart Program at the University of Kentucky for five years. Prior to his recent recruitment back to the Children’s Hospital of Illinois and the University of Illinois, College of Medicine, he was an Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine.
Dr. Plunkett’s clinical career has spanned 20 years and he has performed more than 4000 cardiothoracic surgical procedures with excellent outcomes and an overall operative mortality of less than 3 percent.
He has performed many of the most complex heart operations on newborn babies, older children with congenital heart defects, and adults with congenital heart disease. In addition, he has performed over 200 heart transplants in children and adults and has experience with the implantation numerous mechanical heart support devices and the Total Artificial Heart.
Dr. Plunkett is actively involved in local and national committees and editorial boards. He is a thought leader in the field of congenital heart surgery with significant research and academic contributions throughout his career. His work is widely published and he has been recognized with numerous academic honors and teaching awards.
He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and is one of approximately 160 heart surgeons in the US that are Board Certified in Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery.