UTAH Cardiac Transplant Program – One of Nation’s Most Successful Heart Transplant Programs – Marks 35 Years of Life-Saving Collaboration

That’s the number of live-saving heart transplants the UTAH (Utah Affiliated Transplant Hospitals) Cardiac Transplant Program – a unique collaborative transplant group from Intermountain Healthcare (Intermountain Medical Center and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital), University of Utah Health, and the George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Medical Center in Salt Lake City – have performed in the past 35 years.  
Patients, family members, clinicians, and other caregivers joined together on Wednesday to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the nationally-leading transplant program – and an amazing 1,549 heart transplants performed in the more than three decades of saving lives of patients in Utah and throughout the Intermountain West.  

The UTAH Cardiac Transplant Program is one of the most successful collaborative heart transplant programs in the nation and is frequently cited as a model for other transplant programs.  
UTAH Cardiac surgeons have performed successful heart transplants since its first cardiac transplant in 1985 at University of Utah Hospital.  
It is the only heart transplant program in the Intermountain West and has given thousands of patients a new lease on life. The program has one-year, five-year, and 10-year survival rates that exceed national averages and its physicians have published studies in hundreds of high-profile publications.  
The program is a unique model because it leverages the skill, expertise, and resources of medical teams from all four member hospitals. This cooperation helps contain costs by eliminating replication and by enhancing clinical expertise.  
Every patient awaiting a transplant is reviewed by the UTAH Cardiac team which ensures donor hearts are matched with the most appropriate recipients.   



Jess Gomez / Intermountain

Kathy Wilets / University of Utah Health

Jill Atwood / Veteran’s Administration Medical Center 



UTAH (Utah Affiliated Transplant Hospitals) Cardiac Transplant Program – a unique collaborative transplant group