Last OHSU heart surgeon resigns days after program suspension

The last heart failure transplant cardiologist on Portland, Ore.-based OHSU's heart transplant team revealed plans to leave the instituion, just days after OHSU said it plans to suspend the program, according to The Oregonian.

The departures leave OHSU with a waitlist of approximately 20 patients and five candidates under evaluation for transplants amid the program's suspension, according to the report.

The Oregonian reported Aug. 28 OHSU temporarily suspended its heart transplant program for at least 14 days, citing staffing shortages as four heart failure transplant cardiologists on the instituion's team had left or declared plans to leave by the end of September.

Heart failure transplant cardiologists Jonathan Davis, MD; James Mudd, MD; and Divya Soman, MD, will depart from the institution, effective Sept. 30. Jill Gelow, MD, departed several months ago, OHSU told Becker's Hospital Review Sept. 1.

OHSU confirmed Drs. Davis, Mudd and Soman's departures in an Aug. 29 prepared statement.

"Regarding Heart Transplant Program staffing, we can confirm that three heart failure transplant cardiologists will have departed OHSU, effective Sept. 30. One heart failure transplant cardiologist departed several months ago. Beyond that, personnel matters, including reasons for departure, are confidential," the institution said.

The hospital said in its prepared statement it will use the 14-day time frame to recruit new cardiologists to the transplant team. OHSU said it could not disclose whether it has candidates in any stage of recruitment, or communicate any imminent appointments until contracts are signed "for confidentiality reasons."

An OHSU spokesperson told The Oregonian the hospital has begun helping patients transfer to other transplant centers, as OHSU is the only facility in Oregon that performs the procedure.

OSHU told Becker's all other OHSU heart transplant program team members will continue to provide cardiovascular care and support. Team members include cardiac surgeons, transplant nurse coordinators, transplant director, social workers, patient access service specialists and their supervisor, critical care surgeons, among many others. Some of these employees also support other critical care areas.

The system's liver, pancreas and kidney transplant programs are not affected by the heart transplant program suspension.

Editor's note: This article was updated Sept. 2 to include additional information from OHSU.

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