The Texas Transplant Center at the University of Texas Medical Branch was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for stellar achievements in lung transplantation and success in increasing the number of organs available for transplantation.

The Texas Transplant Center was awarded a Silver Medal for Lung Transplantation based on its performance from criteria including wait-list mortality rates after patients are listed for transplantation, transplantation rates and survival after transplantation. The Texas Transplant Center is among 44 transplant programs in the United States — and one of six adult lung transplantation programs overall — to receive this recognition. 

According to the HHS standards, this result places UTMB’s lung program in the top 10 percent in the nation. The Adult Lung Transplantation Program at UTMB is the only one in Texas to reach this level.

In addition, UTMB is one of 145 hospitals to receive Bronze Medal recognition for achieving a 75 percent or greater collaborative conversion rate of donors. This recognition to UTMB comes in the midst of a National Hospital Organ Donation Campaign, which enlists the help of hospitals across the country in increasing the number of people who enroll as future donors in their state donor registries.

“To be recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services is wonderful and exciting news for all of us involved with the Texas Transplant Center,” said Dr. Luca Cicalese, professor of surgery and director of the Texas Transplant Center. “We worked hard to achieve these results and will press harder to sustain and improve upon them.” 

Dr. Vincent Valentine, professor of medicine and medical director of the Lung Transplantation and Advanced Respiratory Medicine Program, added, “It takes a team — our nurse coordinators, inpatient and outpatient health care providers, surgeons, anesthesiologists and countless others, all working cohesively for the benefit of our patients and their families — to earn this level of recognition.”

A variety of awards were presented to 404 hospitals, 38 organ procurement organizations and 174 transplant programs as part of this HHS recognition covering activity between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2012. For additional details on the awards, visit www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/10/20121004b.html.