6 months after OHSU heart transplant program implodes, Providence offers a helping hand

Oregon Health & Sciences University might have a chance to revive the heart transplant program it shuttered last August after all four of its cardiologists left the institution, according to reports from the Oregonian and Oregon Live.

Providence Health & Services, a Washington-based healthcare system that’s been accepting OHSU patients since the transplant program imploded last year, is reportedly expanding its own heart failure program. The Oregonian wrote Providence “is trying to fill a hole in the market” created by OHSU, which left 20 transplant patients hanging in the balance.

Dan Oseran, the executive medical director of Providence Heart and Vascular Institute, told the Oregonian it’s possible Providence will at some point relaunch its own defunct heart transplant program, but the hospital’s first choice is to partner with OHSU for a jointly operated unit.

“We don’t know what the future holds,” Oseran said. “Would we ever do it alone? We might. But we prefer a single collaborative effort.”

OHSU has been unable to recruit any new cardiologists for its program, according to the report. On the other hand, Providence took in 350 of OHSU’s former patients, hired a nurse from OHSU’s advanced heart failure program and offered a job to one of the cardiologists who quit OHSU’s program last year, Jill Gelow.

Before launching a joint transplant program, Providence would need approval from both CMS and the United Network for Organ Sharing.

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