The heart transplant program at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has again been recognized as one of highest ranking in the nation by an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
UCLA's program is one of only seven heart transplant centers nationwide -- and the only one in California -- to be ranked at the silver level by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which has federal oversight of the nation's organ donation and transplantation network.
The HRSA survey measures the performance of organ transplant centers by assessing transplant rates, post-transplant survival rates and mortality rates for patients after they are placed on organ-donation waiting lists. To earn silver status, a program must achieve better-than-expected performance in at least two of those categories. Only one center -- a liver transplant program in Florida -- earned a gold ranking for achievements in all three.
UCLA, which also earned silver status in 2010, when the HRSA organ transplant center survey was inaugurated, is the only heart transplant program in the U.S. to have earned a silver ranking twice.
"As the only two-time silver-level heart transplant program, we are incredibly proud of our team's hard work in providing the very best care for our patients who undergo this lifesaving treatment," said Dr. Abbas Ardehali, a professor of cardiothoracic surgery and director of UCLA's heart transplant program. "This recognition acknowledges that patients in the UCLA heart transplant program have a better chance of survival."
The HRSA awards were presented Oct. 4 at ceremony held in Grapevine, Texas.
In addition, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center received the Department of Health and Human Services' Bronze Medal of Honor for Organ Donation for achieving and sustaining national goals for organ donation, including a donation rate of 75 percent or more of eligible donors.
"We are so proud of our health care professionals who reach out with great compassion and sensitivity to explain and inspire individuals and families to save lives as organ and tissue donors during emotionally difficult times," said Dr. J. Thomas Rosenthal, the medical center's chief medical officer. "Every life touched by organ and tissue donation crosses a bridge between death and life, grief and meaning, hope and healing. This award is a true honor."
The Medal of Honor awards were presented for work done between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2012.
The HRSA leads federal efforts to increase organ and tissue donation and transplantation and supports the Donation and Transplantation Community of Practice, which brings together donation and transplantation professionals, hospital staff and other professionals involved in the donation process to identify and share best practices. For more information, visit www.organdonor.gov.
One of the nation's busiest transplant centers, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center offers heart, lung, liver, kidney, intestinal, pancreas, cornea, auto islet, bone marrow, hand and face transplant services. For more information, visit www.transplants.ucla.edu.
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