Tufts Medical Center Completes Its 500th Heart Transplant

The hospital has performed the most transplants in the New England area since 2000.

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When Frank Lalli, 61, of Portsmouth, RI came in for his heart transplant on June 6, he was probably more concerned about his health than making history—but for him, and Tufts Medical Center, the day was monumental. His was the 500th heart transplant the hospital has performed since its first in 1985.

Since 2000, the hospital says it has performed more heart transplants than any other hospital in New England, and ranked among the top 10 heart transplant programs in the country for volume with 56 transplants in 2016.

For Dr. Deeb Salem, co-interim CEO at Tufts, who has been at Tufts since that first heart transplant, the milestone is a gratifying one. “The program has grown exponentially in 33 years,” he said in a press release. “And now represents the gold standard for cardiac transplants in all of New England.”

“We have intentionally recruited and hired outstanding heart failure specialists and cardiac surgeons who are experts in the most advanced technologies and techniques, but are also born leaders, great communicators and team players who are committed to our patients and to each other,” Dr. Marvin Konstam, chief physician executive of the CardioVascular Center said in a press release. “Achieving 500 heart transplants is a credit to the organization’s compulsive focus on the patient, on quality patient care, and on ensuring that our patients and their families are always at the center of everything we do.”