Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute achieves milestone with 800th heart transplant

October 1, 2018

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute’s heart transplant program has performed its 800th heart transplant. The transplant was performed on September 27, 2018 on 59 year old Henry Myers from Springfield, Missouri.

For 33 years Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute has been recognized as the leader of heart transplantation in Kansas City and this new milestone builds on a heritage of success treating patients with advanced heart failure.

The program ranks among the top 15 for number of adult transplants nationwide and number one in Kansas City and has consistently achieved excellent short and long-term survival rates. Compared to 83 percent of U.S. heart transplant programs, which perform 20 or fewer heart transplants per year, Saint Luke’s performs well above that number – 38 in 2015, 44 in 2016 and 42 in 2017.   The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients placed Saint Luke’s as the top heart transplant program in the country for patient survival, given the experience, short wait times, and excellent post-transplant survival.

“The road to 800 transplants requires the dedication and expertise of countless individuals,” said Michael Borkon, M.D., surgical director of cardiac transplantation at Saint Luke’s and co-executive medical director at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute. “We have an exceptional team of dedicated and experienced heart failure, critical care, and transplant professionals which represent the very best of what Saint Luke’s is all about. I am incredibly proud of our team, this milestone, and what it means for patients in Kansas City.” 

Wait times at Saint Luke’s are shorter than other programs across the nation, in part because of the altruism of donor families and the experience of the team. More than 80 percent of Saint Luke’s patients are transplanted within one year of joining the national waiting list.  Saint Luke’s has a shorter wait time than nine of the nation’s top 10 heart transplant programs.

“Thanks to the gift of life from donor families, and help from the Midwest Transplant Network, we continue to be able to provide a unique opportunity for a second chance at life through transplantation,” said Andrew Kao, M.D., medical director, Saint Luke’s cardiac transplantation program.

In 2016, Saint Luke’s expanded care to Wichita, Kansas allowing transplant patients needing pre- and postoperative care to receive treatment close to home while still seeing their Saint Luke’s care team.

The hospital has been awarded the Medal of Honor for Organ Donation from the Department of Health and Human Services for its success in increasing the number of organs available for donation and received the “2017 Excellence in Donation” award from Midwest Transplant Network.

About Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute
Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, a member of Saint Luke’s Health System and a teaching affiliate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is one of the preeminent cardiovascular programs in the country. Its legacy of innovation began more than 35 years ago when it opened as the nation’s first heart hospital. Since then, the Heart Institute has earned a world-wide reputation for excellence in the treatment of heart disease, including interventional cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, imaging, heart failure, transplant, heart disease prevention, women’s heart disease, electrophysiology, outcomes research, and health economics. With a team of 85 board certified cardiovascular experts, the Heart Institute offers one of the largest heart failure/heart transplant programs in the country, has the largest experience with transcatheter aortic valve replacement in the Midwest, and is a global teaching site for the newest approaches to opening challenging blocked arteries using minimally invasive techniques. 

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