Lung Transplant Program Celebrates Certification


Since launching in 2015, the Lung Transplant Program has achieved several milestones. Most recently, it earned certification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

According to Heather Strah, MD, Lung Transplant medical director, achieving certification was a two-year process during which the program demonstrated that Nebraska Medical Center and UNMC were committed to lung transplant and able to provide good patient outcomes.

“CMS certification means Nebraska Medical Center and UNMC will be able to offer lung transplant to more patients with more types of insurance,” says Dr. Strah. “This is an accomplishment for our program and it demonstrates that our young Lung Transplant Program is able to provide patients with the same quality care that they would find elsewhere, but now much closer to home.”

To date, there have been 24 lung transplants performed at Nebraska Medical Center.

Some members of the Lung Transplant Program gathered to celebrate the program’s recent accomplishment. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Bobbi Heffelfinger, nurse coordinator; Heather Strah, MD, Lung Transplant medical director; Aleem Siddique, MD, Lung Transplant surgical director; Heidi Brink, pharmacist; Bernadette Vacha, transplant coordinator (back row) Austin Thompson, MD, Pulmonary Hypertension medical director; Joseph Sisson, MD, Sleep, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Allergy, division chief and Doug Bremers, Donate Life.

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