Transplant Recognitions and Achievements

Transplant teams at Henry Ford continually seek new ways to make procedures safer and recoveries easier for recipients and living donors. In doing so, our transplant teams have achieved many transplant firsts.

Several national organizations have also acknowledged our commitment to quality and patient safety.

National transplant awards

  • National Learning Conference Bronze Awards: Presented by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2010 for the nation’s highest performing kidney and liver transplant programs.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Distinction Center: Blue Cross Blue Shield has recognized our institute for expertise delivering specialty transplant care.
  • Aetna Institute of Excellence: Aetna has recognized our program’s high-quality, affordable transplant care.

Transplant achievements at Henry Ford

Our pioneering transplant work includes:

Heart transplant achievements

  • 1985: Detroit’s first heart transplant
  • 2015: Michigan’s first simultaneous adult heart and liver transplant
  • Present: National leader in ventricular assist devices (VADs) for bridge to transplant

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Intestine transplant achievements

  • 2010: Michigan’s first intestine transplant
  • 2010: Michigan’s first multiple organ transplant of intestines, stomach and pancreas
  • Present: Michigan’s first and only intestine and multiple organ (multivisceral) transplant program

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Kidney transplant achievements

  • 1968: Detroit’s first kidney transplant
  • 1973: Michigan’s first kidney transplant for a patient with diabetes
  • 1996: Michigan’s first cross-racial living kidney transplant
  • 2005: One of the nation’s first robotic-assisted laparoscopic kidney removal programs for living donors
  • 2008: Michigan’s first robotic-assisted surgery to remove a diseased kidney through a single incision
  • 2013: World’s first use of a breakthrough cooling technique that gives surgeons more time to safely perform a robotic-assisted kidney transplant
  • 2014: Michigan’s first robotic-assisted kidney transplant
  • Present:
    • Michigan’s only high-risk kidney transplant protocol for patients who are unlikely to receive a transplant elsewhere due to a previous transplant or blood transfusion
    • One of the few centers in Michigan performing simultaneous kidney and pancreas transplant, as well as pancreas transplant following a kidney transplant

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Liver transplant achievements

  • 1989: Detroit’s first liver transplant
  • 1996: Michigan’s first split-liver transplant in which a donor liver was separated to save two patients
  • 2000: Michigan’s first adult-to-adult living donor liver transplant
  • 2005: First active laparoscopic liver surgery program
  • 2008: Michigan’s first minimally invasive laparoscopic living donor liver transplant
  • 2009: 1,000th liver transplant at Henry Ford
  • 2013: Michigan’s first simultaneous liver and lung transplant
  • 2014: First pediatric liver transplant at Children’s Hospital of Michigan
  • 2015: Michigan’s first simultaneous adult liver and heart transplant
  • Present:
    • Home to the most active living donor liver transplant program in Michigan
    • More adult liver transplants than any other center in Michigan
    • Among a select few nationally to perform minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery on living liver donors
    • Both deceased and living donor liver transplants

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Lung transplant achievements

  • 1994: Detroit’s first lung transplant
  • 2005: Among the first to perform lung volume reduction surgery for improving breathing function
  • 2011: Michigan’s first lung transplant using a donated lung after a cardiac death
  • 2013: Michigan’s first simultaneous lung and liver transplant

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Pancreas transplant achievements

  • 1987: Among nation’s first to perform pancreas transplant
  • Present: One of a few centers in Michigan performing three types of pancreas transplants:
    • Pancreas only
    • Simultaneous kidney and pancreas
    • Pancreas transplant after a kidney transplant

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Stem cell transplant achievements

  • 1988: Henry Ford’s first stem cell transplant
  • 1991: Michigan’s first peripheral blood stem cell transplant
  • 2014: First double umbilical cord stem cell transplant at Henry Ford
  • Present: Home to Michigan’s largest stem cell transplant patient unit

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Take the next step

Speak with a Transplant specialist.


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