Transplant Institute Sets Records for Volume, Patient Survival Rates

In 2011, the Methodist University Hospital (MUH) Transplant Institute, which is operated by physicians at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), set new records for transplant volumes and patient survival rates.

In 2011, the Methodist University Hospital (MUH) Transplant Institute, which is operated by physicians at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), set new records for transplant volumes and patient survival rates. The institute’s 140-person team has become recognized as one of the top 10 transplant programs in the United States. Last year, a total of 270 transplants were performed, the most ever at the MUH Transplant Institute, up to 13 percent more than the prior year. The 2011 numbers included 122 kidney transplants, 138 liver transplants, and 10 kidney/pancreas transplants. Additionally, in 2011 adult patient survival rates markedly improved to 90 percent for liver transplants and 97 percent for all transplants combined.

“We are committed to working in tandem with UT Health Science Center to provide the best quality transplant services to our patients,” stated Gary Shorb, president and chief executive officer of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.

James D. Eason, MD, professor of Surgery at UTHSC and program director for the MUH Transplant Institute, noted, “Some people still think a transplant is like this end-of-the-world, doomsday scenario, but most of our patients are in and out of the institute in a week. They spend as little as one or two days in the Intensive Care Unit.”

“The experience, skills and team commitment to quality care are the elements that make our transplant unit so successful,” observed Kevin Spiegel, chief executive officer of MUH. “Our Transplant Institute receives patient referrals from some of the most prestigious cancer centers in the country, including MD Anderson, Sloane-Kettering, and Stanford.”

“UTHSC is a pivotal partner with Methodist in transplant, bringing a commitment to academic excellence and recruiting that has enabled us to achieve and sustain a top-tier program,” said David M. Stern, executive dean of the UTHSC College of Medicine, and vice chancellor for Health Affairs.

An alumnus from the UTHSC College of Medicine, Dr. Eason and the institute he leads are known worldwide for performing the 2009 liver transplant on Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The surgery saved the billionaire’s life, returned him to the maximum level of health possible, and extended the visionary’s time.

“The UT-Methodist partnership enabled us to really create a dream team by recruiting what I consider to be the top transplant physicians from all over the country and world,” Dr. Eason said. “This year, we are going to probably be one of the largest liver transplant programs in the United States and probably one of the 10-largest liver transplant programs in the world.”

The MUH Transplant Institute is a partnership program with the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Methodist assumed management of UT Bowld Hospital and its transplant program in November 2002. Almost two years later, the UT Bowld Transplant Program moved to MUH, and the MUH Transplant Institute was formed. UTHSC continues to staff and operate the Transplant Institute.

As the flagship statewide academic health system, the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is to bring the benefits of the health sciences to the achievement and maintenance of human health, with a focus on the citizens of Tennessee and the region, by pursuing an integrated program of education, research, clinical care, and public service. In 2011, UT Health Science Center celebrated its centennial: 100 years advancing the future of health care. Offering a broad range of postgraduate training opportunities, the main UTHSC campus is located in Memphis and includes six colleges: Allied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Graduate Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The UTHSC campus in Knoxville includes a College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, and an Allied Health Sciences unit. In addition, the UTHSC Chattanooga campus includes a College of Medicine and an Allied Health Sciences unit. Since its founding in 1911, UTHSC has educated and trained more than 53,000 health care professionals on campuses and in health care facilities across the state. For more information, visit www.uthsc.edu.