West Reading, Pa. – Tower Health announced this week that a new Tower Health Transplant Institute has been organized and will become the new home for the nationally recognized kidney and liver transplant program formerly located at Hahnemann University Hospital.
The program’s team of renowned surgeons, hepatologists, and nephrologists have joined the Tower Health Medical Group and will provide services in West Reading and Philadelphia. The transplant team surgeons — who have performed more than 3,000 organ transplants — will perform kidney and liver transplants at the state-of-the-art Reading Hospital HealthPlex, one of the most technologically advanced surgical facilities in the state. Inpatient services will be provided at Tower Health – Reading Hospital and Tower Health – Chestnut Hill Hospital, with outpatient services at Reading Hospital and in Center City Philadelphia. The Tower Health Transplant Institute will also include the Center for Liver Disease that was part of the Hahnemann program.
“With the unfortunate closure of Hahnemann, our goal was to create a home for this nationally-ranked kidney and liver transplant program so it could continue serving patients in eastern Pennsylvania and surroundings areas,” said Clint Matthews, president and CEO of Tower Health. “We are pleased to welcome these ten outstanding surgeons and physicians, along with experienced clinical and support staff. These specialists chose to come to Tower Health because they liked what they saw in our people, our facilities, and our vision.”
While at Hahnemann, the Transplant program became the only 5-star-rated kidney transplant program in Pennsylvania and the third best kidney transplant program in the nation as ranked by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, based on patient survival with a functioning kidney one year after transplant. Tower Health – Reading Hospital, where transplants will take place, is the largest hospital between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and is recognized nationally for its exceptional clinical quality and safety, advanced technology, and compassionate care.
David J. Reich, MD, Medical Director of the Tower Health Transplant Institute and Professor of Surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine, noted that “along with internationally distinguished hepatologist, Santiago J. Muñoz, MD, and nephrologist, Karthik M. Ranganna, MD, our entire group is delighted to remain a team and to join the preeminent Tower Health system that is setting national standards for healthcare quality and patient satisfaction. We are deeply committed to excellence in clinical care, improving access to transplant services, and to the expanding academic mission of Tower Health.” Dr. Muñoz is Medical Director of Liver Transplant and the Center for Liver Disease, Tower Health Transplant Institute and The Donald Berkowitz Professor of Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine. Dr. Ranganna is Medical Director of Kidney Transplant, Tower Health Transplant Institute and Associate Professor of Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine.
Within the Transplant Institute, the Center for Liver Disease will provide comprehensive care and leading-edge therapies to manage and treat a variety of liver diseases. “We are pleased to have a new home at Tower Health that will allow us to care for our patients with liver disease without interruption,” said Dr. Muñoz. “And, we are excited to work with Tower Health on advancing liver disease services in the region.”
Pending approval by UNOS (the Unified Network of Organ Sharing), transplants could begin by the end of 2019. Outpatient services, such as patient pre-surgical evaluation and monitoring and transplant follow-up will begin in September. Communications are underway with patients about the new locations for their care and how to ensure uninterrupted care.
“We are thrilled that Tower Health is able to preserve, and will work to grow, one of the best transplant programs in the country,” said Mr. Matthews. “The relocation of this program also represents a major expansion of Tower Health’s capabilities in meeting the full spectrum of health needs for the communities we serve.”