SEATTLE — November 7, 2013 — Swedish Medical Center’s organ transplant program is celebrating two milestones this month – the 40th anniversary of its kidney transplant program and recent approval of its liver transplant program by Medicare.
Swedish is a longstanding leader in organ transplantation in the Pacific Northwest, particularly kidney transplantation. Now operating for 40 years, the kidney transplant program is the most experienced of its kind in the region treating more than 100 patients each year.
The recent approval by Medicare comes five years after the Washington Supreme Court approved the liver program’s certificate of need in 2008. The first liver transplant performed at Swedish was in September 2010.
“It has been an incredible journey,” said Dr. Marquis Hart, director of the organ transplant program at Swedish. “But the outcome has been phenomenal. During the last three years, our liver program has hit the ground running and seen outcomes that well surpass national standards.” This week the team put their first patient on a new Liver Dialysis machine.
Medicare authorization allows Swedish to provide liver transplants to a much broader range of patients. End-stage liver disease is the third most common cause of death for those 45 to 65, and more than 17,000 people nationwide are waiting to receive a liver transplant.
“These milestones are certainly both major accomplishments in our field, but are by no means stopping points for us,” said Hart. “We’re looking forward to the next 40 years and how we can continue to help patients in the Pacific Northwest and beyond battle organ disease.”
More information about the Organ Transplant Program at Swedish can be found online at http://www.swedish.org/services/transplant-program.
Swedish has grown over the last 103 years to become the largest non-profit health provider in the Greater Seattle area. It is comprised of five hospital campuses (First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard, Edmonds and Issaquah); ambulatory care centers in Redmond and Mill Creek; and Swedish Medical Group, a network of more than 100 primary care and specialty clinics located throughout the Greater Puget Sound area. In addition to general medical and surgical care including robotic-assisted surgery, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cardiovascular care, cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, pediatric specialties, organ transplantation and clinical research. In 2012, Swedish provided more than $130 million in community benefit in Western Washington. For more information, visit www.swedish.org, www.swedishcares.org, www.facebook.com/swedishmedicalcenter, or www.twitter.com/swedish.