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Heart :: UCSD Medical Center heart transplant collaboration with Sharp Memorial Hospital

UCSD Medical Center has announced plans to pursue discussions with Sharp Memorial Hospital toward a potential collaboration in heart transplantation.

The number of heart transplants being performed across the nation is declining due to improvements in the treatment of patients with heart failure. UCSD Medical Center has seen its volumes decline, and consequently has been evaluating options for the future, including restructuring its program.

?The quality of our heart transplant program is very good, but our heart transplant volumes are lower than we would like,? said Richard Liekweg, Chief Executive Officer of UCSD Medical Center. ?In addition to considering how to reorganize and restructure our program in order to continue serving our patients with a full range of treatment options, we have also begun discussions with our colleagues at Sharp about working together. If we can combine our expertise and resources, the people of San Diego will benefit.?

According to Dan Gross, Executive Vice President of Sharp HealthCare Hospital Operations, Sharp Memorial and its cardiac transplant physicians are looking forward to continuing the dialogue with UCSD Medical Center to explore how the programs would integrate to best meet the needs of local transplant patients.

?As we begin these discussions, we believe the right course of action at this time is to put our program on hold,? Liekweg said. UCSD Medical Center has notified UNOS (the United Network for Organ Sharing, which coordinates U.S. organ transplant activities) that it will stop doing heart transplants for up to 12 months. UCSD?s decision to voluntarily inactivate its heart transplant program will not impact its lung, heart-lung, kidney or liver transplant programs.

Liekweg emphasized UCSD Medical Center?s commitment to providing a full range of leading edge cardiovascular services for patients, and to advancing the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease and heart failure through research and clinical trials. These advances are the reason patients are surviving longer with heart disease, he noted.

UCSD?s multidisciplinary Advanced Heart Failure Treatment Program is dedicated to providing the most beneficial, state-of-the-art medical care for patients with advanced heart failure, including transplant candidates and patients who have received a new organ.

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