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Date Updated: Friday, September 11, 2020

Westchester Medical Center Reaches 300th Heart Transplant Volume Among Top Fifteen Percent Worldwide

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VALHALLA, N.Y. (September 11, 2020) – Recently, the heart transplant team at Westchester Medical Center, the flagship of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), performed its 300th heart transplant. The Westchester Cardiac Transplant Program, the only such program in the Hudson Valley, is comprised of a comprehensive team of specialists, including heart failure and transplant cardiologists and cardiac surgeons specializing in mechanical cardiac assist devices and heart transplantation.

“We are proud of the results of the transplant team at WMCHealth,” said David Spielvogel, MD, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery. “Our care, capabilities and outcomes rival any heart transplant program in the nation, and in fact, we rank among the top 15 percent in the world, in terms of volume. This milestone is a testament to our organization and the confidence that our patients, their families and referring physicians have in the quality of our outcomes and the compassion of our team.”

Patients cared for by Westchester Medical Center’s heart transplant program are often those whose acuity level, age, or need for a multi-organ transplant has precluded them from receiving a heart transplant elsewhere. Including these complex patients, Westchester Medical Center’s patient survival rates both at one year and five years after transplant are above the national average, according to the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation data from 2019* and median wait times for a heart transplant are shorter than many other area hospitals.

“The impact and outcomes of our transplant program are a collaborative achievement by so many in our organization,” said Alan Gass, Medical Director of Cardiac Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support. “We have enduring relationships with our patients and their families because of the bond that is formed as part of the transplant journey. Our team has the utmost commitment to our patients and the powerful importance of transplantation. We, and our patients, are so grateful for those who have donated organs – literally, giving others the gift of life.”

This comprehensive heart transplantation program uses a team approach to care for patients, combining the clinical expertise and compassionate care of surgeons, cardiologists, transplant coordinators, nurses, social workers, anesthesiologists, psychiatrists, nutritionists and other staff members to care for all aspects of the patient’s well-being.

Information on organ donation is available from LiveOnNY (646.291.4444). Members of the community who may need a consultation or second opinion regarding heart transplant for themselves or a loved one can call 914.493.7632 at any time or email AdvancedHeartFailure@WMCHealth.org.