At NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, the Transplant Initiative (TI) has been launched to drive the growth of both clinical and research aspects of transplantation. This multi-year undertaking will involve Departments of Medicine, Pathology, Pediatrics, and Surgery and all of the solid organ transplantation programs, both adult and pediatrics. It is led by its Executive Director, Jean C. Emond, MD.
Although NYP/Columbia is already a national leader in clinical transplantation with respect to volume and patient outcomes, this initiative will further leverage the diverse expertise of its transplant scientists and clinicians.
The goal: new discoveries in patient care and a deeper understanding of the biology of transplantation. Formalizing and further integrating the community of transplant professionals will better position NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia to carry out larger research initiatives both in the laboratory and in patient care. The objective is to have a full-spectrum center dedicated to transplantation — one at the leading edge of discovery and delivery of care — a center of excellence for translational research, new creativity in medical and surgical care, and the achievement of groundbreaking outcomes.
The Division of Abdominal Organ Transplantation was founded and fully certified as a liver transplant center in 1997, with the recruitment of Dr. Jean C. Emond and Dr. Robert S. Brown. The CLDT focuses on the seamless integration of medicine and surgery in its commitment to patient care. The center's team may recommend a liver transplant when all other treatment options are exhausted.
Approximately 2, 200 heart transplants are now performed each year in more than 150 heart transplant centers in the United States. The surgeons and cardiologists of Columbia University Medical Center of NYPH have a long and distinguished history of advancing "standards of care" and the survival rates of our patients by using innovative surgical techniques, by applying our basic scientific research in immunosuppression to the clinical setting, and by inventing and perfecting life-sustaining cardiac assist devices that prolong life while waiting for organ availability.
The Renal Transplant Service, initiated here in 1975, currently performs between 250-260 kidney transplants a year, placing our service in the top 50 programs in the country (out of about 250) in terms of volume, and the program ranks as a significant national research center. NYPH/Columbia received UNOS approval for pancreatic transplantation in January 2008. Our premier kidney transplant program is facilitating rapid growth of the new pancreatic transplantation program, which overlaps both in its patient population and its surgical and medical expertise.
Columbia University Medical Center's lung and heart-lung transplantation program, which began in 1985, is fast approaching its 200th transplant. Performing more than 30 transplants each year, the lung and heart-lung transplant teams have earned a national reputation for excellence. Our world-renowned transplantation researchers have helped lead the way to improvements in care that, nationwide, have increased the long-term survival rate for lung transplantation by 50% over the past seven years. Among those improvements are new immunosuppressive agents, new antibiotics, refined surgical techniques, and a more comprehensive understanding of follow-up care.