Cardiovascular program undergoes transition

Oct. 10, 2018

OHSU inactivated its Heart Transplant Program after four heart failure transplant cardiologists left OHSU earlier this year. President Danny Jacobs requested an independent peer review of the program. The evaluation will include the quality of patient care; supervision of the program; and education, training and supervision of staff to inform the rebuilding of the program.

OHSU covered the costs to transfer all 20 patients on the heart transplant wait list to another center if they requested to do so. The OHSU team continues to work with other patients impacted by the inactivation of the program, which is only one aspect of cardiovascular clinical care offered at OHSU.

"We are fully committed to reactivating the state's only heart transplant program for patients in Oregon and beyond," said Dr. Jacobs. "To that end, we are aggressively recruiting the specialists needed to provide the full continuum of care." 

Rebuilding the Heart Transplant Program is part of a larger initiative to structure the Knight Cardiovascular Institute to support its continued excellence. Sanjiv Kaul, M.D., the institute's founding director, announced in October that he will complete a transition he began a year ago by stepping down as director Dec. 31 to focus on research and make way for a new leader who will take the institute to the next level.

The institute, launched in 2012 through a visionary $125 million gift from Nike founder Phil Knight and his wife Penny, is dedicated to achieving world-class excellence in cardiovascular clinical care and research. It's been recognized as a top heart center nationally for the last three years by U.S. News & World Report, a ranking based on quality metrics, outstanding outcomes and a reputation for cutting-edge heart procedures, such as complex valve replacements and surgical techniques and advanced imaging and prevention strategies.

The institute's cardiovascular research program is focused on improving patient outcomes by achieving earlier diagnosis of disease, more accurate monitoring of its progression, and tailoring therapy to the molecular basis of disease. Today, in addition to basic and translational research, the institute is conducting over 100 cardiovascular clinical trials and is a top enroller of multi-site trials.

Dean Sharon Anderson will become interim institute director Jan. 1. She will oversee the recruitment of a new director, the strengthening of the institute and, together with health care leaders, the rebuilding the Heart Transplant Program.