Dr. Morell received his medical degree from the Ponce School of Medicine, Ponce, Puerto Rico. He then completed his surgical residency at Robert Packer Hospital-Guthrie Clinic in Sayre, Pennsylvania, followed by his cardiothoracic surgery fellowship at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and congenital cardiothoracic surgery fellowships at two of the most prestigious training centers in the world for pediatric cardiothoracic surgery: Boston Children’s and at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London, England, before joining the medical staff at Children's Hospital of Tampa.
Dr. Morell was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in 2004. Dr. Morell’s leadership has elevated the profile of the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Heart Institute to the #2 ranked program in the country in Pediatric Cardiology and Heart Surgery by U.S. News and World Report, in addition to the program’s status as 1 of only 7 programs nationally to achieve a 3-star ranking in congenital cardiac surgery outcomes as determined by the Society of Thoracic Surgeon’s 117 program pediatric cardiothoracic surgery registry.
Under his leadership, the program has recruited internationally recognized surgeons such as Dr. Jose Pedro da Silva, pioneer of the cone procedure for Ebstein’s anomaly. Dr. Morell currently leads a multi-disciplinary team of pediatric cardiologists and surgeons, pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists, pediatric cardiac critical care intensivists, and specially trained pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery nurses and operating room technicians that is often used as the gold standard model in building congenital heart surgery programs throughout the country.
Dr. Morell was appointed Executive Director of the HVI in 2020; and is looking forward to helping the program achieve its’ goals regarding excellent clinical outcomes, access to care, and more.