Lutheran Now Offering Transplant Clinics in Valpo to Help Deliver Care Closer to Home for NW Indiana Patients

Specialists to travel monthly to see patients in need of
advanced heart and kidney support 


VALPARAISO, Ind. (March 12, 2012) – Residents of northwestern Indiana with kidney disease or heart failure now have access to new clinics in Valparaiso initiated to expand their options to receive advanced care closer to home. Specialists from the heart and kidney transplant programs at Lutheran Hospital will travel to Valparaiso on a monthly basis to evaluate and care for patients who might otherwise need to leave the region for comparable services. 

“Our goal with the new clinic in Valparaiso is to add resources that patients historically sought elsewhere to the outstanding care they have already been receiving,” said Joe Ladowski, MD, cardiovascular surgeon and medical director of Lutheran’s heart transplant program. “The more we can eliminate the stresses associated with travel, including time spent behind the wheel and any costs incurred while on the road, the easier it’s going to be for patients to simply focus on getting better.”

Since performing northern Indiana’s first heart transplant in 1985, physicians affiliated with the Lutheran programs have understood the importance of supporting the strong relationship between patients and their referring physicians. Through these clinics, heart and kidney specialists will be able to provide ongoing care to help patients achieve long-term success with the support of their own physicians.

“This type of outreach is one of the reasons we worked so hard to get the kidney transplant program off the ground,” said A. Tarik Kizilisik, MD, transplant surgeon and program director. “Being able to deliver a high level of care with documented success rates that are unsurpassed in many major metropolitan areas is important because it means we are fulfilling our original promise to improve the quality of life for patients with kidney disease.” 

Starting tomorrow, specialists from Lutheran’s kidney transplant program will see patients on the second Tuesday of every month at Porter Health System’s Valparaiso Outpatient Campus, 2000 Roosevelt Road, Suite 104. Patients will be seen for consultations and evaluation services, including lab work, X-rays and pretransplant care.

Beginning April 24, specialists from Lutheran’s heart transplant program will see patients every fourth Tuesday of the month at the same location. Patients will have an opportunity to learn about heart transplant and ventricular assist device options not available at other local hospitals. Lab work, X-rays and other pre- and postoperative care will also be provided. 

Initially, each clinic will be open one day per month between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Alternate dates and times may be scheduled in the future depending on patient utilization.

Lutheran Hospital is the only Indiana facility north of Indianapolis to perform heart and kidney transplants. It is also one of a small number of hospitals to receive the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission for VAD Destination Therapy. Destination therapy can help patients who may not qualify for a heart transplant maintain a higher quality of life.

Patients are encouraged to contact their personal physician to learn more about these clinics. They may also call Lutheran Hospital directly at 260-435-6275 with questions about the kidney transplant clinic, or 260-602-7751 with questions about the heart transplant / VAD clinic. The Lutheran Transplant Center may also be reached via the hospital switchboard by calling 1-800-444-2001. 

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