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Published on December 18, 2013

Crozer-Keystone Kidney Transplant Center Receives CMS Certification


Crozer-Keystone recently marked one year since its Kidney Transplant Program was established to make this vital healthcare service more accessible to patients in Delaware County. As a testament to the program’s early success, it received certification by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) in September 2013. In order to become CMS-certified, a program must submit at least one year of program data and patient outcomes, and it must pass a rigorous evaluation.

Patients who come to Crozer-Keystone for a kidney transplant can take extra comfort in knowing that while the program is relatively new, the doctors behind it have a track record of success that dates back decades. The Kidney Transplant Team at Crozer-Keystone is one of the most experienced and highly skilled in the region, having cared for more than 1,000 kidney transplant patients since 1995.

"Kidney Transplant Team saved my life"

“The patients in our community benefit by having access to a highly experienced and skilled team of specialists, without having to travel into the city or some other distance for their treatment and ongoing care,” says William Mannella, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, who was instrumental in bringing the transplant program to Crozer-Keystone. “All the pieces are in place to support a successful program.”

Since performing its first transplant procedures just over a year ago, Crozer Keystone’s transplant program is offering great hope to transplant candidates throughout the surrounding region.

“Our program continues to engage patients who are committed to receiving a kidney transplant,” says Cosme Manzarbeitia, M.D., FACS, chief of the Transplantation Program and director of Hepatobiliary Service at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. “For many, they faced too many barriers in accessing a transplant center. Now that these services are being offered in Delaware County we see many more patients and caregivers moving on to transplant.”

Since Crozer Keystone's transplant program began, eight transplants have been performed altogether. All of those transplant patients are sustaining their organs and are following up regularly with the program. In addition to being CMS-certified, Crozer-Keystone’s program was approved in December 2011 by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).

The call for living donors
Joan Gramlich, administrative director of Crozer-Keystone’s Kidney Transplant Program, acknowledges the vital role that living donors play in the transplant process by providing healthy organs, which support the best outcomes.

“Especially with the decrease in the number of deceased donors, living donation is a critical factor, and so it is important for kidney patients to consider going back to their family, friends and others in their community to talk about the possibility of them becoming a donor,” Gramlich says. In order to qualify to be a living organ donor, individuals must meet certain health criteria and other requirements, and they should be fully informed of the possible risks and benefits, as described on the UNOS website (www.unos.org/).

Mannella notes that patients who elect to donate a kidney through Crozer-Keystone’s transplant program are cared for by experienced surgeons with advanced skills in minimally invasive procedures. This enables donors to benefit from reduced risk of complications and quicker recovery times, and of course the reward of providing perhaps the ultimate gift.

For referral information to Crozer-keystone's Kidney Transplant Team or to request a consult with a transplant physician, call the Kidney transplant team at (610) 619-8420 or email kidney@crozer.org.

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