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Yale New Haven Hospital sets milestone with 500th heart transplant

Monday, May 24, 2021

New Haven, CT ( May 24, 2021) – Yale New Haven Hospital’s (YNHH) Heart and Vascular Center has achieved a milestone by performing its 500th heart transplant on May 15, 2021.The first at YNHH was performed in 1984.

“This milestone achievement really punctuates and enhances Yale New Haven Hospital’s heart and vascular center as Connecticut’s and the region’s preeminent center for cardiac care,” said Francine LoRusso, MHA, RN, SVP, Operations and executive director for Heart and Vascular Services, Transplantation Center, Medicine Services and Radiology Services. “Sustained excellence in giving our patients and families a second chance at life is what drives us. What defines our team is the highest quality of patient care and the difference these transplants have played for the decades since we performed our first heart transplant in 1984. Few centers in the United States can look back on pioneering such life-changing procedures as Yale New Haven Hospital.”

Helping contribute to this new milestone, YNHH Heart and Vascular Center performed 30 adult heart transplants in 2018. This set a new record for Connecticut, surpassing the previous mark of 21. In addition, YNHH has a 100 percent survival rate for heart transplant recipients at 30 days post-surgery. Heart transplants at YNHH increased 114 percent from 2017 to 2018.

“This is an important accomplishment that we are extremely proud of,” said Arnar Geirsson, MD, surgeon-in-chief, Cardiac Surgery, Heart and Vascular Center, Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS), professor of Surgery (Cardiac) Yale School of Medicine. ”Over the last three years we have built a very busy heart transplant program that has helped so many patients achieve excellent outcomes and is now one of the best in the country. We have a fantastic team of cardiologists, surgeons, coordinators, anesthesiologists, nurses and administrative staff that works hard to give patients with advanced heart failure a second chance at life.”

The YNHH heart transplant program works closely with Yale Medicine’s Comprehensive Heart Failure Program, part of the hospital’s Heart and Vascular Center (HVC). The Heart and Vascular Center is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of experts in cardiovascular medicine, cardiac rehabilitation, cardiothoracic surgery, heart failure, peripheral vascular treatments, cardiovascular imaging and vascular surgery.

“One of the many reasons we have been so successful at YNHH is our team focuses on comprehensive and compassionate patient care tailored to the individual patient, and provided by a multidisciplinary team of experts in the fields of advanced heart failure, cardiac surgery and cardiac transplantation,” said Tariq Ahmad, MD, MPH, medical director, advanced heart failure program, YNHHS and the Yale School of Medicine. “This amazing team guides patients and families through their entire transplant experience.”

Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH), part of Yale New Haven Health, is a nationally recognized, 1,541-bed, not-for-profit hospital serving as the primary teaching hospital for the Yale School of Medicine (YSM). Founded as the fourth voluntary hospital in the U.S. in 1826, today, YNHH has two New Haven-based campuses, and also includes Yale New Haven Children's Hospital, Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital and Smilow Cancer Hospital. YNHH has received Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the nation’s highest honor of nursing excellence. YNHH has a combined medical staff of about 4,500 university and community physicians practicing in more than 100 specialties.

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