Restoring Hope: UW Hospital Donates $100,000 to Transplant House
MADISON - Plans to open a haven for adult patients awaiting an organ or bone marrow transplant got a huge boost this week with the announcement that University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics will donate $100,000 to the construction of the Restoring Hope Transplant House (RHTH) in Middleton.
“From the beginning, we’ve been strong supporters of this important initiative for adult transplant patients,” said Donna Katen-Bahensky, president and chief executive officer of UW Hospital and Clinics. “We’re extremely pleased to partner with the Transplant House and add a financial component to that support.”
Plans to restore a historic Victorian house in Middleton into the 16-bedroom Restoring Hope Transplant House were first announced in 2006. Envisioned as a supportive home environment for adults and their caregivers prior to and following an organ or bone marrow transplant, RHTH would be the first such facility in Wisconsin. Eventually, founders hope to serve patients from across the Midwest.
"Restoring Hope Transplant House is grateful for this generous gift and excited about the opportunity to partner with UW Hospital and Clinics as we move with a sense of urgency towards opening our doors,” says Cindy Herbst, executive director of RHTH. “This ambitious dream to care for transplant families is closer to becoming a reality thanks to their leadership, compassion and support."
UW Hospital has one of the nation’s largest and most successful organ transplant programs. Since the program’s inception in 1966, UW transplant surgeons have performed more than 12,200 solid organ transplants. UW’s bone marrow program was recently ranked as one of only seven transplant centers in the United States to receive an “overperforming” rating from the National Marrow Donor Program.
But more than 70 percent of patients who receive organ and bone marrow transplants at UW live outside the Madison area, adding travel and accommodation concerns to an already challenging situation.
“Supporting the Restoring Hope Transplant House is something that just makes sense for UW Hospital and Clinics,” says Dr. Tony D’Alessandro, UW transplant surgeon and interim director of UW’s transplant program. “Our primary goal is to care for our patients before and after transplantation, and the Restoring Hope Transplant House is really an important extension of the compassionate care we deliver.”
Dr. Walter Longo, director of the UW Hospital and Clinics Stem Cell Transplant Program, says he’s acutely aware of the trials and challenges those patients face, and that Restoring Hope Transplant House has the potential to make a huge difference.
“This will give patients a home away from home and services that are integral to a healthy recovery," he says.
The donation comes just a day before Madison hosts the National Kidney Foundation’s biennial U.S. Transplant Games, where thousands of organ recipients will compete in a variety of sports. RHTH organizers are hoping this weekend’s focus on organ donation and transplant will help them move closer to opening the doors.
Date Published: 07/29/2010