Another key member is leaving the medical team of the on-again, off-again liver transplant program of St. Luke’s Hospital.
Fredric Regenstein, medical director of the program, is resigning effective Aug. 15. He has been with the program since early 2011.
“It was a personal decision to leave to be closer to his family,” said hospital spokeswoman Michelle Manuel. “We wish him well.”
Manuel said the hospital is finalizing negotiations for a new medical director.
In March, St. Luke’s said it had temporarily suspended its 3-year-old liver transplant program because its surgical director, Henry Randall, had left. St. Luke’s patients who were on the waiting list for a liver transplant were transferred to other programs. The most recent liver transplant performed at the hospital was in October.
Randall has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against St. Luke’s and several doctors at the hospital.
In May, St. Luke’s announced it had appointed surgeon Jameson Forster, one of the founders of the highly successful liver transplant program at the University of Kansas Hospital, to lead its transplant team. Manuel said St. Luke’s expects to accept patients into the program again this fall under Forster’s leadership.
This is the second attempt by St. Luke’s to establish a liver transplant program. The hospital started a program late in 1991, but it performed only eight transplants, federal records show. Just two of those patients were still alive when the hospital closed the program in 1993. St. Luke’s officials said at the time that its patient volume wasn’t meeting expectations.
St. Luke’s also is finalizing negotiations to hire a new medical director for its ongoing kidney transplant program. The previous medical director, Mario Rubin, joined the hospital in April and left soon afterward.
“Shortly after he arrived, he realized it wasn’t a good fit, and I think the feeling was mutual,” Manuel said.
Kidney transplants continued at the hospital uninterrupted, she said.
St. Luke’s also announced this month that it will establish a kidney transplant satellite clinic in Wichita. Patients will receive care at the clinic from locally based doctors before and after undergoing transplant surgery at St. Luke’s.
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