GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - Just two years after Spectrum Health performed its first heart transplant, the hospital can now add another organ transplant program to their list.
Spectrum Health announced its lung transplant program has been approved by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), a private non-profit organization that manages the U. S. organ transplant system.
Dr. Red Girgis was hired as the medical director of Spectrum's lung transplant program in July, he says he's hopeful the first transplant will take place sometime between now and February.
There currently is a waiting list of West Michigan patients in need of a lung transplant.
The first 10 transplants will be at no charge to the patient and is incorporated into the cost of starting the program. Health insurance companies will not cover the operation until the program has performed ten successful transplants.