UW-Health now offering pediatric heart transplant program

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 6:09 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A new pediatric heart transplant program in the Badger State, allowing families to not travel far for the life saving procedure.

Officials with UW-Health announce the launch of the program at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison.

They say they are now the only medical center int he Midwest that performs heart, kidney, lung and pancreas transplants for both kids and adults.

The medical director of the pediatric heart transplant program, Dr. Sonya Kirmani, said heart transplants tend to require families to move.

“Having a heart transplant is a lifelong commitment. It goes beyond the initial transplant surgery. For many family that previously had to go else where, they had to think about moving and changing jobs and figuring out other support services. But being able to have this care here means it all gets to stay in place,” said Dr. Kirmani.

She also said it will allow for families to stick with doctors they know.

“Because we are a smaller program we are able to offer a more personal touch to the care of our patients. Before we started this program, unfortunately we had to refer a lot of kids out within Wisconsin and beyond the state to other programs that offer these services,” said Dr. Kirmani.

Dr. Kirmani said kids will benefit from the full range of support.

“I’m very excited that we have a very comprehensive team here, in terms of having other support from surgery, ICU, pharmacy, palliative care and psychology to be able to deliver comprehensive care to our kids here so they don’t have to travel far away to get the care they need,” said Dr. Kirmani.

Officials with UW-Health said they have performed hundreds of various transplant surgeries for more than five decades.