Corewell Health Conducts 300th Lung Transplant

Corewell Health’s Richard DeVos Heart and Lung Transplant Program reached a significant milestone on December 5, with transplant teams completing the program’s 300th lung transplant.

The Corewell Health, formerly Spectrum Health, Richard DeVos Heart and Lung Transplant Program, founded in 2010, completed its first heart transplant in November, 2010, and its first lung transplant in February, 2013. The program has seen continual growth, now completing on average 40-50 lung transplants annually. It is the busiest lung transplant program in the state.

The patient who received the 300th lung transplant, Dennis Bergstrom, 66, of Cheboygan, Mich, is off supplemental oxygen and is expected to make a full recovery. Bergstrom has a longstanding history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and began developing more significant symptoms about 4 years ago.

A surgical team led by Edward Murphy, MD, completed the minimally invasive bilateral lung transplant. Other team members included assistants Sara Shea, PA-C, and Andrew Sporte, RNFA, pre-transplant coordinator Caitlin Kothe, pulmonologist Reda Girgis, MD, procuring coordinators Andrew Glowiak and Kari Hibbard, procuring surgeon John Paris, MD, and post-transplant coordinator Kyle Rosteck.

Corewell Health officials stressed the importance of community support, expertise and teamwork in building the program, which is the only program of its kind located on the west side of the state.

“This important milestone would not be possible without the exceptional skill of our transplant team, the invaluable support of our philanthropic donors, and the dedication to make these complex procedures available to patients throughout our state,” said Darryl Elmouchi, MD, president, Corewell Health West. “I am deeply proud of our team and of the difference that Corewell Health is making in the lives of people of all the communities we serve.”

Corewell Health’s Richard DeVos Heart and Lung Transplant Program is one of three programs in Michigan offering heart and lung transplantation for adult patients facing serious end-stage heart and lung failure. It forms part of Corewell Health’s  Frederik Meijer Heart and Vascular Institute, which brings together cardiovascular expertise in clinical care, research and education.

Lung transplantation is a critical and life-saving therapy for selected patients with advanced lung disease. There are currently 1,500 people on the lung transplant waitlist nationwide. Corewell Health West serves the needs of patients in West Michigan and beyond.

“Because of its highly skilled team, the Corewell Health West program often accepts candidates that other centers might turn away,” said Edward Murphy, MD. “This includes older patients and those with other medical conditions that increase risk, such as coronary artery disease, previous chest surgery or the need for advanced life support.”

Corewell Health organ transplant survival rates are among the best in the state of Michigan and for some organ transplants among the best in the nation according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR). At Corewell Health West, adult lung transplant one-year patient survival is the best in the nation.

“Patients at Corewell Health West get transplanted more quicky with a higher likelihood to survive and we could not be prouder of this effort,” said Reda Girgis, MD, Medical Director for Lung Transplantation. “Completing the 300th lung transplant combined with exceptional patient outcomes is an unrivaled combination of volume and quality. The program looks forward to continued growth to serve the needs of the community and the region.”

As Corewell Health West celebrates its 300th lung transplant, there are still more than 100,000 men, women and children in need of an organ transplant in the U.S. Are you a registered donor? Please consider giving the Gift of Life.

Corewell Health, Lung Transplant


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