The Regions Only Kidney Transplant Center
Kidney Transplants Closer to Home
The Kidney Transplant Program at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola is a growing program serving Northwest Florida and South Alabama. We provide adult kidney transplantation services, including assessing patients as candidates for kidney transplant, coordinating the process for a match, performing deceased donor kidney transplants, as well as providing follow-up care and coordinating services with your family physician. This type of surgery is for the individuals with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
Our program is affiliated with the University of Florida Health which has more than 50 years of experience providing kidney transplant services. Sacred Heart Health System and the University of Florida Health are collaborating through the University’s Division of Transplant Surgery, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine. Of the two types of transplantation, Sacred Heart performs deceased donor kidney transplantation at Sacred Heart Hospital Pensacola. Patients who want to investigate living organ donation and transplantation are referred to the UF Kidney Transplant Program. Our program is expanding, and in the future, will include a living organ donor program.
Two-thirds of the kidney transplant surgeries done in the U.S. are deceased-kidney donations based on the consent of the family or as designated by a donor card. A transplant recipient is someone whose kidneys no longer function properly and needs a kidney to stay alive. While dialysis is one type of treatment, it does not cure kidney failure. Getting a healthy transplanted kidney restores essential bodily functions, including removing toxic waste from the bloodstream.
Currently, in our region and nationwide, the kidney waiting list has doubled in the past ten years. That is why Sacred Heart expanded its services in 2016 to meet the needs of patients battling end-stage renal disease. A kidney transplant is a preferred treatment for kidney failure. Compared to a lifetime on dialysis, a kidney transplant offers a lower risk of death, better quality of life, and fewer dietary restrictions than dialysis. However, transplant patients will be on daily immunosuppressant medications for life, so the body does not reject the new kidney.
Our Transplant Team
At Sacred Heart, our transplant team helps every patient and family sort through the decision-making process, and we focus on educating our patients about all of their options. The Sacred Heart team is led by Rick Stevens, MD, transplant surgeon, and Douglas Keith, MD, transplant nephrologist. Collectively, these physicians have more than 40 years of experience. This specialized team includes a transplant program coordinator, social worker, pharmacist, dietitian, transplant medical assistant, patient safety management coordinator, and financial coordinator.
We welcome all referrals of patients who are interested in pursuing kidney transplantation as a treatment option and look forward to working with your physicians and caregivers to provide the best service possible.
Our goal is to provide the highest level of care for all patients. For this reason, we encourage our patients who live in this region to keep your name on our list in case a kidney becomes available.
For new patients, use this transplant referral form.