Meet our Providers

At Kansas City Pediatric Cardiology, our team is here to make sure each appointment is efficient and productive, so you leave the office understanding your child’s diagnosis and plan with a friendly and professional approach. Our providers are experienced and qualified in the diagnosis, treatment and management of children with cardiac conditions.

Bill Drake

Dr. Bill Drake

Dr. Drake graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1985. He received his Master's degree in inorganic chemistry with Dr. Larry Dahl from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987, and received his MD from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine in 1991. He then completed his Pediatrics Residency at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics in 1994, during which time he met a very bright, pretty nurse who said 'yes' when he asked her to marry him. Dr. Drake and his new bride then moved to England for a year while he worked as a Pediatric Registrar (like a Chief Resident) at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. He then finished his Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 1999.

Dr. Drake started at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City in August 1999 and was active in clinical care (inpatient and outpatient), research (clinical and translational) and teaching medical students and residents.  In 2014 he started Kansas City Pediatric Cardiology, and in 2020 Dr. Tara Swanson and Dr. Karina Carlson joined the practice.

Dr. Drake enjoys working on his car, spending time with his family, trying to play the guitar, and sailing.

Karina Carlson

Dr. Karina Carlson

Dr. Karina Carlson graduated from University of Illinois in 1994 with a BS in Biology.  She attended medical school at Loyola University Chicago, where she met her husband Brent, and married him in 1997.  She received her MD in 1998.  She then moved to the Kansas City area, where she completed residency in Pediatrics at Children's Mercy Hospital in 2001.  She finished her fellowships in Pediatric Cardiology and Pediatric Interventional Cardiac Catheterization at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Texas, in 2005.  She missed Kansas City, and moved back to start her career at Children's Mercy Hospital.  There, she spent 15 years serving children and their families in the outpatient clinics, inpatient wards, and cardiac catheterization laboratory, as well as helping to create and lead a fellowship training program for Pediatric Cardiology here in Kansas City.  She loves her patients and their families!  She is truly honored to have the opportunity to care for children, and watch them grow and thrive.  She is excited to join Kansas City Pediatric Cardiology and continue that mission.

Dr. Carlson and her husband have three amazing children, one son and two daughters.  She enjoys spending as much time as possible with her family.  They love watching their kids'  sporting events and musical performances, hiking with their dogs, boating, cooking outdoors, exploring nature, and celebrating time together.

Tara Swanson

Dr. Tara Swanson

Dr. Swanson graduated from Dartmouth College in 1998 with a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  She received her MD from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 2002 and completed her Pediatric Residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut in 2005.  She finished her Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital in 2008. Dr. Swanson started her career at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City where she was active in the Non-Invasive Imaging Laboratory and was the Director of the Fetal Cardiology Program for almost 10 years.  Dr. Swanson enjoys taking care of patients and their families in clinic, but her true passion is fetal diagnosis of congenital heart disease to help prepare families for the birth of a child with special cardiac needs.

Dr. Swanson has been married to her husband Erik since 2002 and she still loves him very much.  They have a son and two daughters who make life busy and loud and fun.  Dr. Swanson enjoys reading books, bargain-hunting, running, organizing, and exploring nature.