OSF HealthCare says its Heart Transplant Program will soon return to OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria.
The Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board this month approved OSF HealthCare’s certificate of need application to re-establish the program. This Heart Transplant Program will be the only one in central and downstate Illinois, and will be a destination center for both transplants and ventricular assist device procedures.
“OSF HealthCare Cardiovascular Institute at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center provides one of the most comprehensive cardiovascular programs in the state, embracing advanced techniques and technologies. A missing component has been heart transplant services,” said Bob Anderson, president, OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center (shown). “We are very pleased to be part of providing this important service to our community.”
Heart transplant capabilities will add to the transplant services already offered at OSF Saint Francis, as it is currently a designated transplant center for other organs. The Heart Transplantation Program at OSF Saint Francis was first established in 1987 and suspended in 2006 due to decreasing volume and physician retirements. Over its 19-year duration, the Program successfully completed 197 heart transplants. The first recipient is now 86 years old and returns to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center twice a year for check-ups.
“Adding the heart transplant program at OSF Saint Francis will strengthen what is already a premier cardiovascular disease program in the state of Illinois,” said Dr. Barry Clemson, heart failure medical director, OSF HealthCare Cardiovascular Institute. “This will provide the patients we serve within OSF Healthcare System – and those referred to us for advanced heart failure treatment – the ability to obtain mechanical circulatory support and transplant services closer to home.”
While the full implementation of the heart transplant program could take up to 18 months, the first VAD procedure should take place in the summer of 2019.