In a statement sent to Fort Wayne’s NBC, Public Relations Supervisor Geoff Thomas explained that plans to replace a departing specialist fell through.
The program will be discontinued on April 1. Thomas explained that there are currently four patients on their transplant waiting list, and they are making arrangements to transfer their care.
The complete statement from Lutheran Health Network is as follows:
Lutheran Hospital is inactivating its heart transplant program. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) require programs to have a dedicated cardiologist with specific training, experience and certification for heart transplant programs. Next month, the transplant cardiologist for Lutheran Hospital’s heart transplant program is moving out-of-state. Lutheran Hospital had recruited a replacement for her role but those plans fell through, leaving the program without an advanced heart failure cardiologist to care for and monitor patients.
We understand this creates uncertainty for patients in our heart transplant program. Our team has spoken with the four patients on Lutheran Hospital’s transplant waiting list, and we are assisting them and our post-transplant patients in transferring their care to the St. Vincent heart transplant program in Indianapolis or another program of the patient’s choice. We are committed to supporting them throughout this process to ensure a smooth transition.
Geoff Thomas; Public Relations Supervisor – Lutheran Health Network
Jonathan Shelley contributed to this report