Staffing issues force Denver hospital to suspend transplant program: 7 things to know

Denver-based Porter Adventist Hospital suspended its organ transplant program June 3 for six to 12 months over staffing challenges, according to The Denver Post.

Here are seven things to know:

1. The temporary deactivation of the program was voluntary. Hospital officials attributed the decision partially to the departure of several experienced workers and the difficulty of replacing those staff members in a tight labor market. 

2. The pause will last six to 12 months as hospital officials recruit experienced staff members and evaluate various processes, technology and operational needs of the program. 

3. About 232 patients are affected by the deactivation. They will need to find another hospital or risk losing their place in line on the transplant list. Porter Adventist is working closely with the United Network for Organ Sharing to transition patients to other transplant programs. 

4. "The decision to temporarily stop performing transplants was not taken lightly," Todd Folkenberg, the hospital's CEO, said in a news release. He added that the hospital "wanted to take a step back and look at our staffing challenges."

5. Porter executives hope the pause will allow them to come back with a more experienced and larger staff than the old program, which had about 30 staff members. 

6. Porter Adventist Hospital will partner with the Florida Hospital Transplant Institute to help rebuild a "best-in-class program that will serve our community well into the future," according to The Denver Channel.

7. All other healthcare services provided at Porter Adventist will continue as normal.

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