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University of Rochester Medical Center opens liver-transplant clinic at St. Joseph’s Health

Eric Reinhardt
The entrance to St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, which has added a new operating room and opened a new electrophysiology (EP) lab. The lab is part of the hospital’s upcoming cardiovascular-care center. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN file photo)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) has opened a clinic site at St. Joseph’s Health to offer care “closer to home” for the region’s liver-transplant patients.

URMC provides care for “hundreds” of liver-transplant patients who live in the Central New York, Mohawk Valley, Hudson Valley, Capital, and Northern New York regions, St. Joseph’s Health said in a news release.

The local liver clinic, which started accepting appointments on Aug. 14, will provide services once a week on Tuesdays. Staffed by URMC personnel, the clinic will provide early liver-disease assessment, evaluations to determine need for a full transplant, ongoing liver care in collaboration with the patient’s gastroenterologist, and post-transplant follow-up appointments.


“For patents who have traditionally had to drive two or three or four hours to Rochester in all weather conditions, sometimes quite often, this Syracuse–based clinic means easier access for them, with less time and expense spent traveling for appointments,” Dr. Roberto Hernandez-Alejandro, chief of the division of solid organ transplant at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said in the release. “Having the opportunity to locate [URMC] liver-transplant specialists at St. Joseph’s allows us to better serve our patients and our extensive network of physician partners, bringing liver-transplant care to their own backyard.”

“When we partnered with URMC through an affiliation with Auburn Community Hospital last year, we recognized the specific areas of specialty expertise that each of us brings to patients across the greater upstate New York area. Now we are able to offer these patients the excellent experience they’ve come to expect from St. Joseph’s Health with enhanced access to the lifesaving transplant services from URMC,” Leslie Luke, president and CEO at St. Joseph’s Health, said.

The URMC solid-organ transplant program is the “only liver-transplant program available in upstate New York,” the release stated. Doctors have performed 1,700 liver transplants over the past 26 years, “providing a second chance at life” for patients from across upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania.

Patient cases have “doubled” in the last two years, the organizations said. The one-year survival rate for [URMC] liver recipients is 93.7 percent, and one-year graft survival is 92 percent, “both of which exceed the national average.”

URMC says it provides kidney and pancreas transplants. It also specializes in living-donor liver and kidney transplants, along with paired donor exchange kidney matches, “all of which greatly expand the donor pool for patients.”

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