FORT MYERS — The Lee Health kidney transplant program officially reopened as the Lee Health Transplant Institute at Gulf Coast Medical Center.
The change was made official March 20, according to a statement. The United Network for Organ Sharing approved Lee Heath's reactivation of its kidney transplant program March 1. The transplant team will perform kidney transplants from deceased donors at this time and Lee Health is committed to reopening the living donor program at a later date, the release adds.
The transplant program has been comprehensively restructured from community-based to health system-based to provide the highest level of quality care and safety to patients, Lee Health officials say. The new structure meets national transplant standards, and Lee Health has established new guidelines for evaluation and selection criteria of candidates.
“For Southwest Florida residents living with end-stage renal disease, kidney transplantation may be their only hope for a better, healthier life,” Lee Health President Jim Nathan says. “The Lee Health Transplant Institute offers a vital service with a skilled and professional team providing leading-edge care that will help our neighbors, family members and friends live lives that are as healthy and active as possible.”
Lee Health's Transplant Institute currently has 160 patients in evaluation for a transplant. On March 20 Lee Health transmitted 21 patient names to UNOS for transplant when a matching organ becomes available.