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Temple University Hospital and St. Luke’s University Health Network Announce Strategic Affiliation for Lung Transplant and Advanced Lung Disease Services

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Dr Gerard Criner performing lung procedure

Temple University Hospital (TUH) and St. Luke’s University Health Network are announcing an innovative affiliation for advanced lung disease and lung transplant services that will provide patients living in the Lehigh Valley streamlined access to Temple’s highly experienced lung transplant team and pulmonology specialists close to home. This announcement builds on previously established affiliations between Temple and St. Luke’s for heart, liver, kidney, pancreas and bone marrow transplant, and will provide Lehigh Valley residents with easier access to these services by reducing much of the travel usually involved in this type of care.

Through the Temple Advanced Lung Disease and Transplant Program at St. Luke’s, patients living in the Lehigh Valley who may need a lung transplant will be pre-screened and cared for at St. Luke’s by both Temple and St. Luke’s pulmonary specialists. If a transplant is recommended, patients can be referred to TUH for further testing and transplant surgery. Upon discharge from Temple, post-transplant care will be shared between St. Luke’s and Temple specialists, with patients being able to return to St. Luke’s for the majority of their care after transplant. St. Luke’s pulmonary physicians will also be on-site at TUH to see patients and participate in clinical training. 

“We are pleased to be able to expand our affiliation with St. Luke’s University Health Network to now include advanced lung disease and transplant services, bringing a collaborative approach to  patients in the Lehigh Valley,” said Michael Young, MHA, FACHE, President and CEO of Temple University Hospital. “This program offers many benefits to patients, including an experienced transplant team and a robust research program that is pioneering methods to make donor organs more available and avoid post-transplant complications.”

“This affiliation formalizes the coordinated, individualized care that we already provide our patients,” states Livia Bratis, DO, St. Luke’s Chief of Pulmonary Medicine. “Together with Temple, we are making it easier for those patients who would normally need to travel for transplant services.” 

Temple’s lung transplant team includes internationally renowned pulmonologist Dr. Gerard Criner, and transplant surgeons Drs. Yoshiya Toyoda and Norihisa Shigemura. Dr. Toyoda developed the Antero-axillary approach in lung transplantation, a minimally invasive form of surgery that can help avoid many complications of the standard double-lung procedure. 

St. Luke’s Pulmonary and Critical Care team cares for individuals who have both acute and chronic lung conditions, such as asthma, COPD, and pulmonary hypertension.  Additionally, St. Luke’s has three fellowship-trained general thoracic surgeons, who perform procedures such as lung resections, bronchial and pleural procedures, and anti-reflux surgery using advanced minimally invasive techniques.

Yaniv Dotan, MD, PhD, transplant pulmonologist for St. Luke’s, trained at Temple and will care for local patients needing advanced lung care before and after transplant.