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The Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant program at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, has now performed more than 1,000 heart transplants – only 11 other centers in the United States have reached this milestone achievement.

“Newark Beth Israel is at the forefront of delivering comprehensive cardiac care and innovative research and this enviable milestone is a testament to our cardiac, surgical and medical teams who have dedicated themselves to building a program that consistently delivers clinical excellence, said Darrell K. Terry, Sr., President and CEO, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey.

The program is a national leader that consistently ranks among the top ten busiest heart transplant programs in the country.

“This exciting milestone further solidifies our national footprint and reflects the world-class cardiology and cardiac surgery services at RWJBarnabas Health. As the largest and most comprehensive healthcare system in New Jersey we are proud to offer these services to residents throughout the region,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and CEO, RWJBarnabas Health.

The transplant program at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center is led by an interdisciplinary team of physicians: Dr. Mark J. Zucker, Director, Cardiothoracic Transplant; Dr. Martin Strueber, Director of Cardiothoracic Transplant Surgery and Mechanical Circulatory Support; Dr. Margarita Camacho, Surgical Director of Heart Transplant; Dr. Jose C. Mendez, Medical Director of Heart Transplant; Dr. Claudia G. Gidea, Medical Director, Ventricular Assist Device Program; and Dr. Roh Yanagida, Surgical Director, Lung Transplant Program.

The Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant Program is one of the busiest in the region and maintains survival outcomes that are on par with the national average; and wait times for heart transplant that are less than the national average, less than 2 months at Newark Beth Israel versus approximately an 8 month wait time, nationally.

“When I joined Newark Beth Israel in 1987 the program and the successful national organ transplantation process that we have today was in its infancy. Thanks to advances in the field and the expertise of our team, we have saved thousands of lives and we are continuing to find new ways to meet the needs of our heart failure patients,” said Mark J. Zucker, MD, JD, Director of Cardiothoracic Transplant, who developed the current program at Newark Beth Israel. Dr. Margarita Camacho, Surgical Director of Heart Transplant and a renowned transplant surgeon who has performed more heart transplants than approximately 98 percent of transplant surgeons across the country said, “I’m extremely proud of our team and the seamless care we provide patients from the time they come to us for treatment until the moment they walk out of our hospital with a new heart. Our team approach and dedication to excellence have enabled us to reach this coveted milestone.”

Newark Beth Israel has always been at the forefront of cardiac care and heart transplant. Dr. Victor Parsonnet performed the first heart transplant in New Jersey in 1986, in 1992 Newark Beth Israel became the first center in New Jersey to employ extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, Newark Beth Israel was the first hospital to use Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs) in New Jersey, and for more than a decade the Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant program at Newark Beth Israel has been ranked among the top ten heart transplant programs in the nation.

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