Patient Care

UR Medicine Opens Liver Transplant Clinic in Syracuse

Aug. 23, 2018
When Baldwinsville patient Thomas DiNapoli began receiving care from the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Solid Organ Transplant team, he and his wife traveled the Thruway often, driving back and forth to Rochester for appointments, testing, and several times when a potential donor organ was thought to be available for transplant.
After a successful liver transplant, DiNapoli continued regular visits to Strong Memorial Hospital for follow-up care with his transplant hepatologist Mark A. Levstik, M.D., medical director of UR Medicine Transplant Hepatology, and the UR Medicine care team.
Starting this month, though, the DiNapolis won’t have to leave their hometown for Thomas’ appointments. UR Medicine has opened an ambulatory clinic site at St. Joseph’s Health. The location offers care closer to home for the hundreds of UR Medicine liver transplant patients who live in Central New York and the Mohawk, Hudson Valley, Capital and Northern New York regions. Appointments began Aug. 14.
The UR Medicine Liver Clinic provides services once a week, every Tuesday. Staffed by the UR Medicine liver team, care includes:
·        Early liver disease assessment, to determine need for a full transplant evaluation;
·        Ongoing liver care in collaboration with the patient’s gastroenterologist;
·        Post-transplant follow-up appointments.
“For patents who have traditionally had to drive two or three or four hours to Rochester in all weather conditions, sometimes quite often, this Syracuse-based clinic means easier access for them, with less time and expense spent traveling for appointments,” said Roberto Hernandez-Alejandro, M.D., chief of the Division of Solid Organ Transplant at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “Having the opportunity to locate UR Medicine liver transplant specialists at St. Joseph’s allows us to better serve our patients and our extensive network of physician partners, bringing liver transplant care to their own backyard.”

“When we partnered with URMC through an affiliation with Auburn Community Hospital last year, we recognized the specific areas of specialty expertise that each of us brings to patients across the greater Upstate New York area. Now we are able to offer these patients the excellent experience they’ve come to expect from St. Joseph’s Health with enhanced access to the lifesaving transplant services from URMC,” said Leslie Paul Luke, President and CEO at St. Joseph’s Health.
The UR Medicine Solid Organ Transplant Program is the only liver transplant program available in Upstate New York. The team has performed 1,700 liver transplants over the past 26 years, providing a second chance at life for patients from across Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. Patient cases have doubled in the last two years. The one-year survival rate for UR Medicine liver recipients is 93.7 percent, and one-year graft (organ) survival is 92 percent, both of which exceed the national average.

UR Medicine provides lifesaving kidney and pancreas transplants. It also specializes in living-donor liver and kidney transplants, as well as paired donor exchange kidney matches, all of which greatly expand the donor pool for patients. The UR Medicine team coordinates care with valued physician partners from across the service area to ensure communication and the highest-quality continuity of care.
About the University of Rochester Medical Center
One of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, the University of Rochester Medical Center forms the centerpiece of the University of Rochester’s health research, teaching and patient care missions. Over the past five years, URMC has garnered more than $1.18 billion in biomedical research, landing the UR School of Medicine and Dentistry in the top 26th percentile of U.S. medical centers in federal research funding. URMC’s flagship facility, Strong Memorial Hospital, is designated by the New York State Department of Health as a Level One regional trauma and burn center. It is home to nationally renowned clinical care and research, including Upstate New York’s only cardiac and liver transplant programs, the Del Monte Institute for NeuroscienceGolisano Children’s Hospital of Rochester, and the Wilmot Cancer Institute, upstate’s premier cancer center providing comprehensive cancer care with expertise in precision medicine, complex cancers and clinical trials. With a solid reputation for quality, Strong Memorial offers some of the top clinical programs in the nation as recognized by US News & World Report, and has earned the National Research Corp. “Consumer Choice Award” each year since the honor’s inception in 1996.
About St. Joseph’s Health
St. Joseph’s Health is a regional non-profit health care system based in Syracuse, NY. Offering primary, specialty and home care, a Magnet-recognized hospital, and collaboration with community partners, St. Joseph's Health advances the well-being of the communities we serve through an expanding range of services to ensure our patients achieve optimum long-term health. St. Joseph’s is ranked by Consumer Reports among the top 15 heart surgery centers in the country, a designated Stroke Center, a U.S. News “Best Regional Hospital” and the only hospital in Onondaga County to be awarded an ‘A’ rating by Leapfrog® Hospital Safety Grades. St. Joseph’s Health is affiliated with Franciscan Companies and St. Joseph’s Physicians, and is a member of Trinity Health.