Events, TEDxColumbus

Meet the Speakers: Dr. Naomi Kertesz

On Friday, November 16, 2018, fourteen Columbus area residents will become part of the TEDxColumbus community when they present their talks for On the Edge.


Meet Dr. Naomi Kertesz:

Impassioned pediatric cardiologist speaks from the heart


By Wendy Cornett


Young hearts rarely fail, but when they do, the consequences can be devastating. In a perfect world, society’s most capable would steadfastly protect the most vulnerable. One doctor is doing her part to move the Columbus community closer to that ideal.



Dr. Naomi Kertesz’s frustration is palpable as she grapples to quantify her exasperation ­– and disappointment beyond measure – with the pervasive lack of preparation within area schools for the very real possibility of a student experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.


“I’m tired of it,” she said emphatically. “I’m tired of hearing about another child collapsing at school.”


Her frustration stems from witnessing the aftermath of sudden cardiac arrest, which struck at least 10 well children in Columbus last year. Some of those children died. Those who survived dealt with lingering aftereffects that could have been mitigated with the right training and the right tools.


Maybe 10 doesn’t sound like a big number. Until it hits home.


As a pediatric electrophysiologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Dr. Kertesz treats heart rhythm disturbances, and she’s on the front lines when a young heart fails. She has vital knowledge to share with school faculty that could help save a life, and she’ll share it for free. They just have to let her in the door.


Awareness regarding sudden cardiac arrest in children and adolescents has been slowly rising thanks to the passage of Lindsay’s Law in 2017, which requires additional training for coaches and the dissemination of an informational video and handout for parents and youth athletes. But much more preparation is needed before area schools – some of which have student populations that number in the thousands – can say with confidence that they’ll know what to do when a child collapses.


“I’m not trying to scare people,” Kertesz noted. “I’m trying to tell them there’s a problem, but I have a solution. We can save some lives here.”


Dr. Naomi Kertesz is a professor of clinical pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She is also the associate medical director of Pediatric Cardiology and the director of Electrophysiology and Pacing at The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Additionally, she is the medical director of Project Adam Ohio and has been selected as one of Ohio’s top doctors for the last few years.


Want to know more? Purchase tickets through Ticketmaster or by calling the CAPA Box Office at 614-469-0939.