WESTON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After receiving UNOS approval to perform adult liver and kidney transplants in 2013, Cleveland Clinic Florida completed more than 40 adult liver and kidney transplants in the inaugural year of its transplant program. The program’s success sets the stage for the organization to launch its third transplant program, after having received United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) approval for adult heart transplants in June 2014.
“We are proud of the exceptional results we have achieved on behalf of our patients,” said Wael Barsoum, President of Cleveland Clinic Florida. “Our team of nationally recognized transplant specialists has worked tirelessly to provide the highest level of care for transplant recipients and donors. This dedication and commitment to excellence is directly attributable to our program’s success.”
“Cleveland Clinic’s commitment to developing the transplant service line in Florida demonstrates our philosophy of world class care,” said John Fung, MD, Chairman of the Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “We have worked closely with our colleagues in Florida to implement the model of success for high quality transplant services that we have in Cleveland.”
Cleveland Clinic Florida moved forward with liver and kidney transplants in 2013 after receiving UNOS approval to perform the procedures. The organization reached another major milestone recently when it also received approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in July 2014. CMS approval is a standard prerequisite for commercial insurers when evaluating transplant programs for inclusion in provider networks. Patients may now obtain Medicare coverage for liver and kidney transplant services received at Cleveland Clinic Florida.
The Transplant Team Expands
Andreas Tzakis, MD, PhD, a world-renowned transplant surgeon, heads the Cleveland Clinic Florida transplant program. To support the liver and kidney transplant program, the organization assembled a team of transplant surgeons who in addition to Tzakis, includes Melissa Watson, MD, Charles Miller, MD, John Fung, MD, PhD, and Cristiano Quintini, MD. Miller, Fung and Quintini are dually licensed to perform surgeries at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and Florida. Other supporting physicians include Bobby Zervos, DO, Medical Director of Hepatology, Nader Najafian, MD, Medical Director of Nephrology, and Mariana Berho, MD, Director of the Center for Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Additional team members include three organ procurement specialists, eight nurses, three dieticians and social workers.
“For the last two years, we have recruited an outstanding team of transplant professionals,” Tzakis said. “These caregivers are filling a critical need and providing patients, who might otherwise leave South Florida, with highly specialized healthcare services.”
Transplant physicians have also been working to develop the heart transplant program. Barsoum announced the addition of Cedric Sheffield, MD, as the Surgical Director of the adult heart transplant program at Cleveland Clinic Florida. Sheffield, a prominent cardiac transplant surgeon, was recently Director and CEO of the Tampa Transplant Institute. He completed a fellowship in thoracic surgery and transplantation at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio in 1999. Sheffield will work with Andrew Boyle, MD, the Medical Director of the heart transplant program who also serves as Chairman of Cardiology.
About Cleveland Clinic Florida
Cleveland Clinic Florida, located in Weston, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and Parkland, is a not-for-profit, multi-specialty, academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic Florida has 240 physicians with expertise in 35 specialties. The medical campus is fully integrated and includes diagnostic centers, outpatient surgery and a 24-hour emergency department located in the state-of-the-art hospital. Cleveland Clinic Florida ranked third among the 68 best hospitals in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area in US News & World Report’s 2014-2015 ranking of Best Hospitals metro area rankings. Cleveland Clinic Florida is an integral part of Cleveland Clinic Ohio, where providing outstanding patient care is based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Physicians at Cleveland Clinic are experts in the treatment of complex conditions that are difficult to diagnose. For more information about Cleveland Clinic Florida, visit www.clevelandclinicflorida.org.