News & Events

Tufts Medical Center Ranks Among Top-10 Heart Transplant Centers in Nation for 2016


A drawing of health care for Tufts Medical Center in downtown Boston, MA.Sets New England record for heart transplants in a calendar year by nearly 20

BOSTON (January 9) – Tufts Medical Center finished calendar year 2016 as one of the top-10 heart transplant centers in the country, successfully completing 56 of the procedures. According to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) data, Tufts MC’s heart transplant total ranked 10th nationally and 1st in New England, with more than twice as many of the procedures as any other center in the region. The Medical Center also set a New England record for heart transplants in a single year, eclipsing the previous mark (37 in 1991) by 19 transplants.

“This achievement is due in no small part to our world-class, passionate and compassionate team. From cardiologists to surgeons to anesthesiologists, infectious disease specialists, nurses, advanced providers, perfusionists, technicians and administrators, every person involved with the program deserves credit for its unprecedented success,” said Michael Wagner, MD, President and CEO of Tufts Medical Center. “The Medical Center has made our Heart Transplant Program a real priority and the results speak for themselves.”

Over the past year, highly acclaimed cardiac surgeons Frederick Y. Chen, MD, PhD (Chief of Cardiac Surgery) and Gregory S. Couper, MD (Surgical Director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program) joined an already superb team of surgeons, known for their outstanding clinical outcomes. In partnership with one of the strongest Advanced Heart Failure groups in the country, the heart transplant team performed four heart transplants in a single day on June 15, 2016, a first in New England. Tufts MC’s 37 heart transplant increase from 2015 to 2016 was the largest year-over-year growth of any center in the nation.

“These life-saving procedures could not have taken place without the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices of the OR team,” said Dr. Couper. “Every minute is critically important in a heart transplant, so there is no timing flexibility and no possibility of shifting the workload around. As a result, the members of our OR team made themselves available at all hours of the day and night to help us nearly triple the number of heart transplants we performed year-over-year.”

“We have long stood among the highest quality programs in the country, but it’s particularly gratifying for the dedicated members of our team to have helped so many patients in 2016,” said David DeNofrio, MD, Medical Director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program at Tufts Medical Center. “The skill of our team and our commitment to patient outcomes and experience has helped us bolster our referrals and expand our network of expert providers, which now reaches throughout New England and upstate New York.”

Tufts MC has been performing heart transplants since 1985, but the program has experienced particular growth under Dr. DeNofrio, a veteran of more than 500 successful heart transplants in his career. Since the year 2000, Dr. DeNofrio’s first full year at Tufts Medical Center, the program has performed the most heart transplants in New England (343). One-year survival for Tufts Medical Center’s heart transplant recipients runs over 95 percent, well above the national average of 90 percent, according to new data released last week from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.

“Our outcomes are among the best in the country and the strength of our partnerships - developed and cultivated through communication, collaboration, and delivering results - really set us apart,” said Marvin Konstam, MD, Chief Physician Executive of the CardioVascular Center at Tufts Medical Center. “And thanks to the great work of the New England Organ Bank, more people than ever are registered to be organ donors. They are the real heroes deserving of recognition.”


About Tufts Medical Center

Tufts Medical Center is an exceptional, not-for-profit, 415-bed academic medical center that is home to both a full-service hospital for adults and Tufts Medical Center. Conveniently located in downtown Boston, the Medical Center is the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine. Tufts Medical Center is the full-service children's hospital of Tufts Medical Center and the principal pediatric teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine. Tufts Medical Center is affiliated with the New England Quality Care Alliance, a network of more than 1,800 physicians throughout Eastern Massachusetts. For more information, please visit

Media Contact: Jeremy Lechan
(617) 636-0104