September 22, 2022 – ThedaCare and the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) health network are announcing a partnership that will provide patients with expanded and convenient access to the most advanced levels of specialty care.
The vision of the partnership will elevate care for local communities in Northeast and Central Wisconsin, ensuring patients have access to high-quality, advanced levels of medicine when needed and creating a seamless, integrated connection to pre- and post-care near home.
As part of the partnership, the Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin health network will provide progressive medical care to ThedaCare patients for unique specialty services such as heart and lung transplants and advanced heart failure, with ThedaCare providing care locally before and after.
The Froedtert & MCW health network will also provide virtual critical care in coordination with ThedaCare providers as part of the partnership. There will be an opportunity to add more specialty services over time based on community need.
The need for advanced heart and lung care is significant. In 2021, more than 41,000 organ transplants were performed in the United States, an increase of 5.9 percent over 2020, according to preliminary data from United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). According to UNOS, in 2021, organizations and transplant hospitals performed a record 3,817 heart transplants across the country. The demand for advanced care continues to grow as 2021 is also the tenth consecutive year where heart transplant numbers have set a new record. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, making up nearly 25 percent of all cancer deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The Froedtert & MCW Adult Transplant Center is part of Southeastern Wisconsin’s only academic health network, a uniquely qualified resource that expands transplant options for patients throughout the state. Its nationally-recognized physicians and surgeons treat patients with a multidisciplinary and collaborative team approach. One of only two lung transplant centers in Wisconsin, the Transplant Center is renowned for care in both pulmonology and lung surgery, according to U.S. News & World Report 2021-2022. The adult organ programs are certified by Medicare and Medicaid, and kidney, liver, heart and lung transplant programs are designated “Centers of Excellence” by most insurance providers.
According to the American Lung Association, centers that perform lung transplants are located throughout the country, however many people in need of a transplant live a great distance from those locations. This can create additional stress for patients and families who must also find lodging, supplementary financial support, time away from work and more.
Through this partnership, transplants can be performed in Froedtert & MCW health network facilities, with the patient returning home for coordinated follow up and supportive care by ThedaCare. Before and following a transplant, patients will have access to providers in their nearby communities to continue coordinated long-term care to maintain their recovery.