Skip to content

Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s heart transplant survival rate highest in the state

More than 94% of all patients who receive a heart transplant at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center survive for at least three years after their surgery. That is the best three-year post-transplant survival rate in Pennsylvania, and almost 10% higher than the national average among transplant centers, according to new data from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR).

SRTR data, collected by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and covering the time period of July 2021 through June 2023 shows that the transplant program at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center achieves a one-year post-transplant survival rate of 97.22%, compared to the national average of 91.24%, and a three-year survival rate of 94.36%, compared to the national average of 84.99%.

“The one-year survival rate is typically a metric for a transplant program’s performance, incorporating the surgery and medical care during the highest risk period after a heart transplant,” said Dr. John Boehmer, director of the Advanced Heart Transplant Program at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. “Our one- and three-year survival rates speak to the expertise and dedication of the entire care team.”

The medical center’s team approach to heart transplant surgery includes surgeons, cardiologists, intensivists, anesthesiologists, perfusionists, nurses, nurse practitioners, therapy services, pharmacists, social workers, financial counselors and nutritionists. The team also includes heart transplant coordinators who guide patients through every step of their journey.

“This remarkable achievement is a reflection of our team’s commitment to providing thorough, high-quality care to each patient at every step of their transplant journey,” said Dr. Behzad Soleimani, chief of cardiac surgery at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and director of the Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute. “Year after year, this data shows that exceptional heart care is right here in Hershey.”

Surgeons at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center have performed more than 585 heart transplant surgeries since the program’s inception in 1984. More than 220 heart transplant recipients currently receive follow-up care at the medical center.

If you're having trouble accessing this content, or would like it in another format, please email Penn State Health Marketing & Communications.