UW News

November 3, 2010

UW Medicine health system lauded for transplant, organ donation excellence

Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering

UW Medical Center was recognized by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) on Wednesday, November 3, for superb performance in its transplant and organ donation programs. Awards were handed out by HRSA officials at the sixth National Learning Congress for the donation and transplant community in Grapevine, Texas.

UW Medical Center (UWMC) was the only transplant hospital in the United States to earn two silver-level awards from HRSA/HHS for superb performance with liver and kidney transplant programs. Only 10 silver medals and one gold medal were awarded across the entire country. UWMC also received a bronze-level award for its kidney/pancreas program.

“This is a great honor,” said Dr. Jorge Reyes, University of Washington professor of surgery, division of transplant surgery. “No other medical system in the nation has accomplished this level of excellence and we’re proud to bring these awards home to all the patients and families we’ve worked with and touched through our care. I applaud all of our transplant teams, who share in this award.” Reyes is chief of the division of transplant surgery. Transplant team members include surgeons, residents, physician assistants, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, dietitians and coordinators.

The awards program recognizes high-performing transplant programs across the country. HRSA officials assess post-transplant survival rates, transplant rates and mortality rates for patients after being placed on the wait list. Structured in a way akin to Olympic games’ medals, the levels include gold, silver and bronze. Transplant programs under consideration include kidney, pancreas, liver, heart and lung.

UW Medical Center performs 90 to 110 kidney transplants per year, with 35 to 40 kidneys coming from live donors. Transplant teams also perform from 70 to 100 liver transplants each year.