NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- The University of Virginia and the Children's Hospital of The King's Daughter will team up to improve cardiac care for children.

UVA's pediatric cardiac surgery program is ranked among the best in the nation, while CHKD is home to the largest pediatric surgical program in the state,

The collaboration combines efforts from both institutions, with the goal of improving care for children with complex heart defects.

"Our goal is to improve outcomes for children with heart conditions from Hampton Roads, central Virginia and beyond by collaborating on evaluations and facilitating access to the most appropriate level of care," said Dr. James Gangemi, who has been appointed surgical director of the new program.

He added, "For some children, this may mean performing the surgical procedure at CHKD; for others, it may mean receiving that surgical care at UVA in Charlottesville."

Gangemi will perform pediatric heart surgeries at CHKD at least four days each month. UVA and CHKD also plan to hire a second surgeon for the program, who will be primarily based at CHKD.