Heart Transplant Program

Primary Children's Heart Center Transplant Program was established in February of 1988 as the pediatric arm of the Utah Transplantation Affiliated Hospitals Cardiac Transplant Program (U.T.A.H. Cardiac Transplant Program). Our goal is to provide children with end-stage heart disease an opportunity to meet two basic needs:

  • To be active participating members of their family and community.
  • To grow and develop, both emotionally and physically, with minimal, if any, limitation or restriction from heart disease.

The U.T.A.H. Cardiac Transplant Program is a consortium of transplant centers comprised of Intermountain Medical Center, George E. Wahlen VA Medical Center, University of Utah Health Care, and Primary Children’s Hospital. Since 1985, the U.T.A.H. Cardiac Transplant Program has performed over 1,000 heart transplants at participating facilities.

The Primary Children's Heart Center transplant team is a multidisciplinary team comprised of thoracic surgeons, cardiologists, pediatricians, nurse practitioners, nurse coordinators, social workers, pharmacists, dietitians, and financial counselors. We also collaborate with many other pediatric subspecialists, clinical specialists, and support services as indicated.

What Sets Us Apart

Multidisciplinary Care

Our team is led by nationally recognized experts with more than 75 years of pediatric heart transplant experience. The transplant team includes pediatric cardiologist, heart transplant surgeons, registered nurses, social workers, transplant assistants and coordinators, pharmacist, dietitian, and other support staff. 

Excellent Outcomes

Our program features a greater than 95% 3-year survival rate, with an average of 10 heart transplants each year. The team has also completed several multi-organ transplants including combined heart-liver and combined heart-kidney. Through collecting data and tracking outcomes, we can continually assess, analyze and improve our care.

Patient & Family Centered Care

We understand how important it is to support the entire family when a child has serious health issues. In addition to focusing on excellent care, we have dedicated significant resources to developing family support services. Our team includes physicians, therapists, child life specialists, teachers, and volunteers to engage patients and family members with therapeutic activities, positive distraction, and social support. Learn more about our patient and family support services.

Pediatric to Adult Transition Program

Adolescents and young adults are most vulnerable during transfer from the pediatric setting to adult care. Children who received a transplant at a very young age may not have a good understanding of their chronic condition and may also be more dependent upon the adults in their lives for their care.

The goal of our transition program is to prepare these adolescents and young adults and parents/guardians for a successful transfer to adult care through a comprehensive patient-centered and developmentally appropriate transition program. Completing a transition program should enable our patients to achieve self-efficacy and optimize their independence to provide self-care to the best of their ability.

  • This is important because of the very high risk of organ loss within the first few years of transfer to adult care.
  • Our approach include ongoing education, involvement of a dedicated transplant staff, appropriate involvement of the family, and the provision of progressive responsibility to the young patient.
  • Multidisciplinary discussions regarding the progress and appropriateness of transition to adult care occur at regular intervals.

Recognition & Accreditation

  • Pediatric Transplant Committee Member - United Network for Organ Sharing
  • Medal of Honor - U.S. Health Resources & Services Administrations National Collaborative on Organ Donation and Transplantation.
  • Optum Center of Excellence
  • Recognized as a Best Children's Hospital by 2017 - 18 U.S. News & World Report in pediatric cardiology

What to Expect

From evaluation to post transplant, the heart transplant process involves a long-term partnership between Primary Children’s Hospital and your family. Our exceptional pediatric heart transplant team provides all the support and services you and your child will need, every step of the way.

Transplant Team

Our team include a pediatric heart transplant cardiologist, cardiovascular surgeon, heart transplant coordinator, pulmonologist, infectious disease specialist, rehabilitation specialist, child psychologist, social worker, child life specialist, pharmacist, nutritionist and financial counselor. You’ll have a transplant coordinator to guide you through the whole process.