Hahnemann University Hospital’s kidney and liver transplant group is moving to Tower Health’s Reading Hospital, in West Reading, Tower said Thursday.
The physicians moving to Tower include David J. Reich, medical director of the Tower Health Transplant Institute and professor of surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine, liver-transplant specialist Santiago J. Muñoz, and kidney-transplant specialist Karthik M. Ranganna.
In all, the group employs 26, including 11 physicians, and plans to hire more, according to Tower, which has an academic affiliation agreement with Drexel.
“With the unfortunate closure of Hahnemann, our goal was to create a home for this nationally ranked kidney and liver transplant program so it could continue serving patients in eastern Pennsylvania and surroundings areas,” said Clint Matthews, Tower’s president and chief executive.
The number of kidney transplants at Hahnemann peaked at 120 in 2004, when Hahnemann had the third-largest program in Pennsylvania, behind the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, according to data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.
Last year, Hahnemann completed 40 kidney transplants, ranking 10th in the state.
The liver-transplant program is small, topping out at 23 in 2016 and registering seven last year.
As transplant volumes fell, the programs became harder to sustain and contributed to the financial woes at Hahnemann, which discharged its last inpatient on July 26 but is not officially closed.
Transplants at Reading Hospital could begin by the end of the year, pending approval by the Unified Network of Organ Sharing, Tower said. Inpatient services will be provided in West Reading and at Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia.