Lutheran Hospital Activates Heart Transplant Program
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (July 30, 2020) – The Heart Transplant Program at Lutheran Hospital is fully activated under new surgical director Hannah Copeland, MD, FACC, FACS. The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Board of Directors recently approved the program for reactivation based on the recommendation from the OPTN Membership and Professional Standards Committee.
Dr. Copeland, who completed a transplant fellowship at Indiana University and most recently was a member of the cardiac surgery team at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, joined Lutheran Health Physicians in May. She works in tandem with Asim Mohammed, MD, advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist, and medical director of the Heart Transplant and Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) programs, and Alan Peterson, MD, FACS, cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon. Dr. Peterson was a member of the team who performed the region’s first heart transplant in 1985.
Heart transplants are reserved for patients with documented, isolated heart disease who are no longer able to function day-to-day, as well as those with life-threatening cardiac rhythm disturbances. “Heart transplant programs require clinical expertise, a collaborative approach, ongoing patient education and compassionate care,” said Dr. Copeland. “I am confident in our team and our approach to serving the critically ill patients and families who have placed their trust in our hands.”
According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in Indiana, making early detection and ongoing management crucial.
As an accredited tertiary care facility, Lutheran Hospital provides a full compendium of cardiovascular services to the people of northern Indiana and beyond. The hospital’s recent certification for transcatheter valve repair and replacement (TAVR) is the first in the state and one of the first 10 awarded by the American College of Cardiology (ACC). In October 2019, the ACC awarded Lutheran Hospital its most important designation for the second year in a row – the ACC HeartCARE Center National Distinction of Excellence, recognizing a commitment to quality cardiovascular care through ongoing performance measurement.
“Lutheran Hospital has a legacy of leadership in cardiovascular care and innovative treatments designed to enhance the quality of life for patients and help them live more fully,” said Brady DuBois, CEO, Lutheran Hospital. “It starts in the office of the primary care physician and working with patients on prevention and early detection. When a higher level of care is needed – from intricate valve repair and replacement, management of complex heart rhythm disorders, treatment of advanced heart failure and surgical options for end-stage heart disease, we are here for those who need these specialized services.”
“Our primary job is to provide treatment to those who deal with difficult-to-control heart failure and enable them to live life to the fullest,” said Asim Mohammed, MD, advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist and medical director of the Heart Transplant and Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) programs. “Whether this is achieved through lifestyle changes, medications, device therapy, LVAD implantation or heart transplant, our goal is to optimize management of this condition and provide each patient with the best possible outcome.”
Patient care and support are coordinated by a multidisciplinary team, from pre-transplant evaluation through post-transplant care. Team members include the advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist, cardiovascular surgeon, transplant coordinator, social worker, pharmacist, dietitian and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation therapist.
Transplantation is necessary only when the heart muscle is severely diseased, since problems with heart valves and coronary arteries can usually be treated by other means. For more information about transplant and other cardiovascular care services or providers, please visit: https://www.lutheranhospital.com/heart-center
About Lutheran Health Network
The foundation of Lutheran Health Network is built on an experienced team of more than 7,000 employees working together with the more than 800 physicians who compose its medical staffs. The network’s more than 100 access points in northern Indiana include physician offices, urgent care clinics, outpatient centers and eight hospitals.