Kidney Transplant Program Reopens at Gulf Coast Medical Center

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Approves Lee Health’s Newly-Restructured Transplant Institute

(Fort Myers, Fla. – Mar 20, 2017) --- Effective March 20, the Lee Health kidney transplant program is reopening as the Lee Health Transplant Institute at Gulf Coast Medical Center. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) approved Lee Heath’s reactivation of its kidney transplant program on March 1. The transplant team will perform kidney transplants from deceased donors at this time and Lee Health is committed to reopening the living donor program at a later date.

The transplant program has been comprehensively restructured from community-based to health system-based to provide the highest level of quality care and safety to patients. The new structure meets national transplant standards, and Lee Health has established new guidelines for evaluation and selection criteria of candidates. Lynsey Biondi, M.D., program director and fellowship trained kidney transplant surgeon, leads the Transplant Institute. Dr. Biondi is joined by fellowship trained kidney transplant surgeon Jacfranz Guiteau, M.D., and fellowship trained transplant nephrologists Gautham Mogilishetty, M.D., and Shalini Saith, M.D. An administrative team, anesthesiologists, intensive care units, surgical progressive care units and other departments support the newly designed kidney transplant program.

“For Southwest Florida residents living with end-stage renal disease, kidney transplantation may be their only hope for a better, healthier life,” says Jim Nathan, president, Lee Health. “The Lee Health Transplant Institute offers a vital service with a skilled and professional team providing leading-edge care that will help our neighbors, family members and friends live lives that are as healthy and active as possible.”

Lee Health’s Transplant Institute currently has 160 patients in evaluation for a transplant. On March 20, 2017 Lee Health transmitted 21 patient names to UNOS for transplant when a matching organ becomes available.

The Transplant Institute is significant for our community to keep patients close to home. There are only nine kidney transplant programs active in Florida.

About Lee Health

Since the opening of the first hospital in 1916, Lee Health has been a health care leader in Southwest Florida, constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community. A non-profit, integrated health care services organization, Lee Health is committed to the well-being of every individual served, focused on healthy living and maintaining good health. Staffed by caring people, inspiring health, services are conveniently located throughout the community in four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals, outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers, primary care and specialty physician practices and other services across the continuum of care. Learn more at

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