The largest and most successful organ transplant program in the region will move into a new home on Aug. 12, a one-stop clinic for liver, kidney and pancreas transplant candidates and patients at the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan.
The new Center for Transplantation brings a multi-disciplinary team of nearly 90 employees together in one 25,000-square-foot location with 36 exam rooms, offices, a dedicated lab and a transplant patient information resource center, a spokesman said. Project cost was $6.5 million for the Center for Transplantation, which is located on the first floor of the main hospital.
Dr. Timothy Schmitt, who heads the hospital’s organ transplant program, said patient input played a significant role in the design of the center.
“Bringing a multi-disciplinary team together is vital because we handle very complex cases where there is often more than one health issue involved. Patients on our transplant lists are very ill, facing fatal organ failure without a transplant. The Center for Transplantation will allow us to more quickly evaluate and treat underlying health causes, which improve transplant outcomes,” Dr. Schmitt said.
The organ donation program has attracted patients from across the country including California and New York.
The hospital’s liver transplant program is now among the top 25 programs by volume nationally. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, the hospital performed a record 95 liver transplants, a 280 percent increase over the last ten years. That includes a record 15 transplants in the month of May alone.
The hospital nearly surpassed its all-time record of kidney transplants with 100 transplants in fiscal year 2013. The unit also performed eight simultaneous kidney and pancreas transplants during the fiscal year.
Patient outcomes, as measured by one year survival, have remained greater than the national average over the same period.
Because of the unit’s partnership with the Midwest Transplant Network, the hospital has received awards for organ donation. That has been a major factor in significantly lower waiting time on transplants lists. The University of Kansas Hospital’s current liver transplant wait time is 3.9 months versus 7 months regionally and 11.1 months nationally.
“It takes a team of physicians, surgeons, nurses and a culture of organ donation in the region to make this a national leader in organ transplant,” said Dr. Schmitt, who is an associate professor of surgery in the University of Kansas School of Medicine.
To see a KU Hospital video about the Center for Transplantation, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5suyw6_GFY.
- Story from KU Hospital