Penn State Health’S Landmark 40Th Anniversary In Heart Transplant Care Celebration

Milton S. Hershey Medical Center recently commemorated its 40th anniversary of performing heart transplants with a special event for their multidisciplinary heart transplant team. Since launching the program in 1984, they have successfully completed over 575 heart transplants, making them the leading provider in the region. The medical center’s commitment to patient care and long-term success is exemplified by individuals like Doug Garban, who recently underwent a heart transplant and is now getting back to his daily life.

Dr. John Boehmer, program director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program, expressed gratitude towards the patients who serve as motivation for their heart transplant program and highlighted Garban as a success story. The medical center prides itself on achieving the highest heart transplant survival rate in Pennsylvania. Notably, they currently provide follow-up care to over 220 heart transplant recipients, with the oldest living recipient being 86 years old and having received their transplant in 1989.

The heart transplant team at Hershey Medical Center is diverse and multifaceted, consisting of various specialists such as surgeons, cardiologists, and nurses, among others. Heart transplant coordinators guide patients throughout their journey, while the Therapy Services team plays a vital role in mobilizing patients after their transplant to ensure a smooth transition back home. The medical center has a rich history of innovation in heart and vascular care, having developed the first implantable heart assist device in the 1970s and being one of the first hospitals to implant an artificial heart in 1984. Additionally, they have achieved numerous milestones, such as the successful implantation of the Arrow LionHeart, the first heart-assist device with wireless power, and sending a patient home with a total artificial heart while waiting for a donor heart.

Overall, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s 40-year anniversary of heart transplants signifies their ongoing dedication to providing exceptional care and achieving remarkable milestones in the field of heart transplantation.


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