The NDN Foundation has established a capital campaign called “End the Wait” to raise the $35 million to develop a transplant institute in Southern Nevada. This funding will expand the current kidney transplant program and create a new liver transplant program for its initial two years. The Foundation, in partnership with Nevada Donor Network, will recruit qualified physicians, nurses, and support staff to Nevada to implement a successful transplant program. It is estimated that within 12 months, this program would be fully operational, and self-sustaining by month 25. Nevada residents will no longer have to seek life-saving care in surrounding states; they will be evaluated locally, transplanted locally, and cared for locally.
Plans for expansion into Northern Nevada are anticipated within five years. The transplant institute will plug into existing hospital systems, infrastructure, and equipment that is currently available and in place. Philanthropic funding from the community will primarily go into hiring the required healthcare transplant experts and covering the cost of patient care, including the procedure itself, until achieving CMS certification.
In Nevada, access to anything other than a kidney transplant is not currently available. These critically ill patients must face the financial, physical, and emotional burden of traveling to neighboring states to get the care they need or be placed on hospice. With a growing need for organs and a limited supply, most of the country (aside from Nevada) is in a situation where transplant centers must choose whom to transplant, who not to transplant, and to take risks on lower-quality organs for transplant because there simply aren’t enough organs.
The University Medical Center is the sole transplant provider in Nevada and is currently providing only kidney services, forcing Nevadans to go out of state. UMC conducts 40-50 kidney transplants annually. While the waitlist at our Nevada based kidney program is 217, the number of Nevadans waiting for a kidney transplant is 521. 58% of kidney transplant services are “exported” to surrounding transplant programs in different states. Of the 233 kidneys available for transplant out of Southern Nevada in 2019, only 33 were transplanted locally, and all other organs were sent out of state because Nevada currently only has a kidney transplant program, and it is still not large enough to facilitate the entire state’s need for kidney transplants. However, even with the incredible recovery efforts from so many heroic donors, most Nevadans waiting on a life-saving organ must relocate for months to receive their transplant because most organs leave the state due to the lack of a more robust transplant program…