Tower Health, the Berks County-based health network, has established the Tower Health Transplant Institute, which will become the new home for the former Hahnemann University Hospital kidney and liver transplant program.
Philadelphia’s Hahnemann University Hospital, established in 1885, announced in June that it would be closing because of financial difficulties.
The Hahnemann transplant program’s team of surgeons, hepatologists, and nephrologists have now joined the Tower Health Medical Group and will provide services in West Reading and Philadelphia.
The transplant team surgeons, who have performed more than 3,000 organ transplants, will perform kidney and liver transplants at the Reading Hospital HealthPlex in Reading. Inpatient services will be provided at Reading Hospital and Chestnut Hill Hospital.
The Tower Health Transplant Institute will also include the Center for Liver Disease that was part of the Hahnemann program.
“With the unfortunate closure of Hahnemann, our goal was to create a home for this nationally-ranked kidney and liver transplant program so it could continue serving patients in eastern Pennsylvania and surroundings areas,” said Clint Matthews, president and CEO of Tower Health. “We are pleased to welcome these 10 outstanding surgeons and physicians, along with experienced clinical and support staff. These specialists chose to come to Tower Health because they liked what they saw in our people, our facilities, and our vision.”
While at Hahnemann, the Transplant program became the only 5-star-rated kidney transplant program in Pennsylvania and the third best kidney transplant program in the nation as ranked by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, based on patient survival with a functioning kidney one year after transplant.
Dr. David J. Reich, medical director of the Tower Health Transplant Institute and professor of surgery at the Drexel University College of Medicine, noted that “along with internationally distinguished hepatologist, Santiago J. Muñoz, M.D., and nephrologist, Karthik M. Ranganna, M.D., our entire group is delighted to remain a team and to join the preeminent Tower Health system that is setting national standards for health care quality and patient satisfaction.”
Pending approval by UNOS (the Unified Network of Organ Sharing), transplants could begin by the end of 2019. Outpatient services, such as patient pre-surgical evaluation and monitoring and transplant follow-up will begin this month. Communications are underway with patients about the new locations for their care and how to ensure uninterrupted care.