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OHSU to reactivate Heart Transplant Program

As Oregon’s premier academic health center, OHSU is committed to providing access to high-quality care for all Oregonians, including the underserved and underinsured.

As the state’s No. 1 hospital with nationally ranked patient care, education and research programs, we want to ensure that we are providing every patient, no matter who they are or where they are from, access to the very best our state has to offer.

Since 1985, OHSU has performed more than 700 heart transplants. Those patients currently are living decades beyond their heart transplant with a remarkable few living up to 30 years after their initial procedure. This has truly been a life-saving, life-extending service to Oregonians and our clinical teams are determined to relaunch this program stronger than ever.

Through the years, OHSU built a multidisciplinary team and the extensive infrastructure required for complex transplant patients, encompassing specialists in advanced circulatory support, cardiac critical care, nutrition, social work and more.

Today, OHSU is the only heart hospital in Oregon with advanced experience treating adults born with heart disease and those with inherited disease affecting the heart muscle (such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) -- all conditions that can complicate care for these highly vulnerable patients.

All of the support elements for the Heart Transplant Program remain in place at OHSU. This includes heart transplant surgeons, nurses, coordinators and other staff.

To best serve all Oregon residents, a strong, comprehensive, state-of-the-art Heart Transplant Program should include the following:

  1. Care for all Oregonians – Cutting-edge patient care that does not discriminate on the basis of insurance coverage and is grounded in public service.
  2. Adult and pediatric capabilities -- The ability to address complex heart conditions for both adult and pediatric patients, ensuring the full continuum of care can be provided for all age ranges.
  3. Multi-organ failure capabilities -- On-site access to the expertise and capabilities offered by other organ transplantation programs, including liver, kidney and pancreas, which are essential for effective outcomes in patients with multiple-organ failure.
  4. Unmatched expertise -- A deep bench of transplant surgeons, critical care specialists and advanced heart failure transplant cardiologists experienced in pre- and post-operative care, whose commitment to training future cardiologists and surgeons requires consistent sharing of expertise, continuous evaluation of current services to ensure best practices and the advancement of that knowledge.
  5. Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit -- A 24/7 intensive care unit that manages only the sickest cardiovascular patients.
  6. Level 1 Trauma -- The highest level of 24/7 lifesaving trauma care for patients in urgent need of highly specialized cardiovascular care, including those with heart failure.
  7. Clinical trials -- The ability to immediately connect heart transplant patients with an extensive and robust array of clinical trials that provide the most advanced treatment options possible to support and improve their care.

At OHSU, it is core to our mission to better the health and well-being of all Oregonians and provide care to transplant patients. To that end, OHSU will reactivate a robust Heart Transplant Program that provides world-class care to Oregonians and beyond.

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