Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., plans to open a kidney transplant satellite clinic in Wichita.
Saint Luke’s said in a news release that it would collaborate with Wichita physicians to provide evaluations and pre- and post-transplant care for area patients.
The clinic will be located at 1035 N. Emporia, Suite 185, and is scheduled to open in August.
Via Christi announced in May that it was ending its plans to restart its kidney transplant program. It was the only health facility in the region that offered kidney transplants.
Saint Luke’s clinic in Wichita will employ a staff of eight, according to the news release. The staff, all of whom worked together previously in transplant services, will be led by an abdominal transplant administrator who will oversee transplant coordinators, a transplant financial specialist, a social worker, and outreach and compliance staff.
“Saint Luke’s has a long-standing commitment to partnering with communities and local physicians to provide expert care close to home whenever possible,” Julie Quirin, CEO of Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, said in a statement. “With the opening of Saint Luke’s Kidney Transplant Satellite Clinic in Wichita, our hope is to make it easier for patients in the Wichita region who are in need of a kidney transplant to receive excellent care close to home, and to receive exceptional care during their transplant surgery at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City.”
Patients evaluated at the satellite clinic will be placed on Saint Luke’s kidney transplant waiting list. Saint Luke’s program had average wait times of 14.8 months in 2013, lower than the national average of 70 months as reported by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, according to the news release.
Saint Luke’s performed its first kidney transplant in 1969 and has performed more than 1,400 kidney transplants since.
Via Christi suspended its kidney transplant program in May of 2012, after four patients who had received transplants in the previous 12 months died within a three-week period and another suffered kidney failure but lived. Hospital officials said an investigation of the deaths showed no common threads.
Initially, the hospital planned to restore the transplant program, but said this spring that it was dropping those plans.
Among the abdominal transplant surgeons who will evaluate patients at Saint Luke’s clinic in Wichita are Jameson Forster, director of abdominal transplant at Saint Luke’s Hospital, who previously led the liver transplant program at the University of Kansas Hospital for 25 years; Christie W. Gooden, surgical director of kidney transplantation; and Lee S. Cummings.