New Clinics Created to Deliver Transplant Care Closer to Home

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on April 18, 2012 with No Comments

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Residents of northwestern Indiana with kidney disease or heart failure now have access to new clinics in Valparaiso initiated to expand options to receive advanced care closer to home.

Specialists from the heart and kidney transplant programs at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne will travel to Valparaiso on a monthly basis to evaluate and care for patients who might otherwise need to leave the region for comparable services.

In March, specialists from Lutheran’s kidney transplant program began seeing patients on the second Tuesday of every month at Porter Health Care System’s Valparaiso Outpatient Campus, 2000 Roosevelt Road, Suite 104. Patients will be seen for consultations and evaluation services, including lab work, X-rays and pre-transplant care.

Beginning April 24, specialists from Lutheran’s heart transplant program will see patients every fourth Tuesday of the month at the same location. Patients will have an opportunity to learn about heart transplant and ventricular assist device (VAD) options not available at other local hospitals. Lab work, X-rays and other pre- and post-operative care will also be provided.

Initially, each clinic will be open one day per month between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Alternate dates and times may be scheduled in the future depending on patient utilization.

Since performing northern Indiana’s first heart transplant in 1985, physicians affiliated with the Lutheran programs have understood the importance of supporting the strong relationship between patients and their referring physicians. Through these clinics, heart and kidney specialists will be able to provide ongoing care to help patients achieve long-term success with the support of their own physicians.

“Our goal with the new clinic in Valparaiso is to add resources that patients historically sought elsewhere to the outstanding care they have already been receiving,” said Joe Ladowski, M.D., cardiovascular surgeon and medical director of Lutheran’s heart transplant program. “The more we can eliminate the stresses associated with travel, including time spent behind the wheel and any costs incurred while on the road, the easier it’s going to be for patients to simply focus on getting better.”

Lutheran Hospital is the only Indiana facility north of Indianapolis to perform heart and kidney transplants. It is also one of a small number of hospitals to receive the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission for VAD Destination Therapy. For patients who may not qualify for a heart transplant, destination therapy can help maintain a higher quality of life.

More than 125 patients have received a kidney transplant at Lutheran Hospital since its program was implemented in 2007. More than half received their new kidney from a living donor.

“This type of outreach is one of the reasons we worked so hard to get the kidney transplant program off the ground,” said A. Tarik Kizilisik, M.D., transplant surgeon and program director. “Being able to deliver a high level of care with documented success rates that are unsurpassed in many major metropolitan areas is important because it means we are fulfilling our original promise to improve the quality of life for patients with kidney disease.”

Patients are encouraged to contact their personal physician to learn more about these clinics. They may also call Lutheran Hospital directly at 260-435-6275 with questions about the kidney transplant clinic and 260-602-7751 with questions about the heart transplant and VAD clinic. The Lutheran Transplant Center may also be reached via the hospital switchboard by calling 1-800-444-2001. Encourage these children to find support with their peers, as phone tracker app well as family members and teachers

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