Troubled Miami heart transplant program gets new leaders

Jackson Memorial Hospital has tapped new leaders for the Miami Transplant Institute's heart transplant program, which has been suspended since March, the Miami Herald reported May 11.

Joshua Hare, MD, was named interim chief of heart failure and Leonardo Mulinari, MD, was named interim chief of heart transplants. Hospital leaders announced the changes during a staff meeting May 8. The Herald learned of the shakeup independently and Jackson officials confirmed the moves May 11. 

The Miami Transplant Institute is jointly run by Miami-based Jackson Health System — the city's public safety-net system — and the University of Miami's UHealth. The institute abruptly halted its adult heart transplant program in March after the United Network for Organ Sharing, which operates the country's organ transplant system, notified Jackson that it had received complaints surrounding patient deaths and poor outcomes. Shortly after, UNOS, CMS and the state's Agency for Health Care Administration opened investigations into the heart transplant program. 

"Both Dr. Mulinari and Dr. Hare are renowned experts in their field, and with their guidance, we will reinstate the heart transplant program as soon as it is appropriate," Jackson said in a statement to the Herald

The newspaper previously reviewed an anonymous report sent to CMS that detailed patient safety concerns and complaints about Matthias Loebe, MD, PhD, the institute's chief of heart transplant at the time, and Anita Phancao, MD, then director of the program's heart failure team. 

Dr. Loebe was stripped of his administrative duties in October, and last month Jackson restricted him from treating patients. Dr. Phancao is still seeing patients, the health system told the Herald. No specific reasons on the leadership changes were given during the May 8 meeting, sources told the Herald, but leaders did mention the need for better teamwork, process management and communication in the aftermath of the heart program's suspension. 

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars