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Friday, April 18, 2014

KU Hospital planning to renew heart-transplant program


The University of Kansas Hospital announced Monday that it has begun planning again for a renewed heart-transplant program.

The hospital also said it has received a gift of $1.5 million from William Reed, chairman of its department of cardiovascular disease, and his wife, Mary, to develop the program.

St. Luke’s Hospital is the only Kansas City area hospital with an active heart-transplant program.

KU Hospital closed its heart-transplant program in 1995, after problems with the program were made public by The Kansas City Star.

From early May 1994 to late March 1995, KU Hospital performed no transplants and turned away every donated heart. Even so, it kept admitting patients and put others on waiting lists.

In 1996, KU Hospital revamped its heart program and upgraded the quality of its facilities and personnel.

In 2000, the hospital announced with great fanfare plans for a new transplant program. But several years later, those plans were put on hold indefinitely as the hospital focused on its rapidly growing heart surgery program.

| Alan Bavley, abavley@kcstar.com

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