The new clinic is a direct result of the two hospital systems’ Healthy State Alliance, formed with a vision to improve the health of the communities we serve by tackling Ohio’s most critical health issues. Increasing access to transplant care was identified as an initial area of focus.
“Healthy State Alliance has provided an excellent foundation to leverage the strengths of each organization and improve the health of our communities,” said Dr. Hal Paz, executive vice president and chancellor for Health Affairs at The Ohio State University and CEO of Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “The opening of the Ohio State organ transplant clinic at Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center is an example of the shared vision to significantly expand access to life-changing care. The coordination and access to care for transplant patients in northwest Ohio is now stronger because of this collaboration.”
The new clinic allows patients to get pre-transplant evaluation and education close to home in northwest Ohio. Organ transplant surgery and specialized testing will continue at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.
Initially, the clinic will serve kidney and liver transplant patients and will extend to heart and lung later in 2020. The clinic is staffed by the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center’s transplant team, leveraging the expertise of 53 years of transplant care and more than 10,500 solid organ transplants.
Transplant care is a serious health issue in Ohio. One Ohioan dies every other day waiting for an organ transplant, and more than 3,000 Ohioans are waiting for a life‐saving transplant at any given time. Awaiting or preparing for a transplant is stressful and transportation challenges can add to the anxiety.
“Prior to the clinic’s opening, potential transplant patients and their family members needed to travel outside of the community for transplant care,” said Ronda Lehman, president, Mercy Health – Lima. “It is of great benefit to Mercy Health providers and patients to have enhanced access to one of the nation’s premier transplant centers, close to home.”
The clinic is the second collaboration between the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and Mercy Health to provide enhanced care to the Lima community. Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center is also affiliated with The James Cancer Network, part of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James). This affiliation provides St. Rita’s physicians and patients with access to the OSUCCC – James’ expertise, sub-specialization and clinical trials, strengthening cancer services at St. Rita’s and keeping cancer care close to home.
The James Cancer Network affiliation and the opening of the clinic for the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center Comprehensive Transplant Center at Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center will make it easier for the Lima and surrounding communities to receive state-of-the-art care, right at home.