Miami Transplant Institute at UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital Ranked Nation’s Second-Largest Transplant Center

4 min read  |  January 23, 2019  | 

The Miami Transplant Institute (MTI), an affiliation between UHealth – the University of Miami Health System and Jackson Health System, was recently ranked the second-largest transplant center in the U.S. by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing (OPTN/UNOS) — the highest ranking the center has achieved since its founding in 1970.

Bilateral lung and heart recipient Stephanie Vargas with her transplant surgeons, from left, Nicolas Brozzi, M.D., Ali Ghodsizad, M.D., Ph.D., Matthias Loebe, M.D., and Amit Badiye, M.D.

During 2018, MTI performed 681 transplants, trailing behind only UCLA.

“The performance of the Miami Transplant Institute last year is a remarkable achievement, but it is about much more than numbers,” said Edward Abraham, M.D., executive vice president for health affairs and CEO of the University of Miami Health System. “It speaks to the dedication and skill of our surgeons, it speaks to the trust thousands of patients put in us when they choose the Miami Transplant Institute for their life-changing procedure, and it speaks to the way we benefit those patients and their families with the pioneering surgical care we provide each and every day.”

MTI’s individual organ programs were also recognized based on 2018 patient volume:

  • The kidney program is now the largest in the country with 433 transplantations performed, breaking the national record for the largest volume performed by a U.S. transplant program since the OPTN started keeping records.
  • The pediatric intestinal/multivisceral program is ranked No. 1, with the highest patient survival rates in the nation.
  • The abdominal program is ranked No. 1.
  • The pancreas adult program is ranked No. 2.
  • The pediatric program in total was the fourth largest, as was pediatric liver specifically.
Front row, center: Liver transplant recipient Victoria Rojas with her parents, Mary Ann and Jenaro Rojas. Second row, from left: Transplant physicians Jennifer Garcia, M.D.; Rodrigo Vianna, M.D., Dana Goldner, M.D., and Akin Tekin, M.D.

“There is no gift more precious than the gift of life,” said Carlos Migoya, president and CEO of Jackson Health System. “And thanks to the partnership between Jackson and UHealth, the Miami Transplant Institute is giving better care to more people than ever before — families who no longer need to spend all their time and energy on sickness, and instead can focus on a brighter future.”

MTI is one of the largest and most comprehensive transplant programs in the United States for both adults and children, with patients traveling from across the globe for every type of solid organ transplant. Care is delivered by a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, physicians, nurses, social workers, dietitians, pharmacists, operating room and intensive care unit staff, led by UHealth transplant surgeon Rodrigo M. Vianna, M.D., director of the Miami Transplant Institute and chief of liver, intestinal, and multivisceral transplantation.

“Our patients benefit by gaining access to the newest, most advanced, most effective treatments, and procedures,” said Dr. Vianna. “Our kidney, liver and intestine programs, despite high volumes and challenging transplants, performed at or above the risk-adjusted expected outcomes published by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.”

This notable accomplishment is made possible through the unique partnership and support between UM/Jackson and UHealth — two of South Florida’s strongest institutions.

“This achievement of the Miami Transplant Institute is a testament to the power of collaboration, which is dedicated to excellence,” said Henri R. Ford, M.D., MHA, dean and chief clinical officer of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “With our partners at Jackson Health, we have built a program that is committed to providing the best outcomes in this complex field, and is now nationally recognized for that expertise.”

Kidney recipient Abel Valdes, right, with his wife, Gabriela, who was the donor, and their three children.

Over and over, experts and advocates have advised patients to seek hospitals and surgeons with high volumes for complex medical care. Teams that regularly perform this kind of work are better prepared to deal with unforeseen complications.

According to UNOS, every 10 minutes someone is added to the national transplant waiting list and, on average, 20 people die each day while waiting for a transplant. One organ donor can save eight lives — and it is because of these donors and their families that the MTI team is able to perform this lifesaving work.

“In organ transplantation, the greatest thank-you never belongs to our amazing professionals — despite their tireless efforts — but to the donors and donor families, without whom we would not do a single transplant,” said Luke Preczewski, Jackson’s vice president for transplant. “It is their gift of life that we strive to honor, and we are proud to celebrate the ways in which we tried so hard to live up to that commitment in 2018.”

Tags: Miami Transplant Institute

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