Historical Highlights

Recent Highlights

The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) publicly released their most recent transplant center outcome reports on March 20th, 2014. The report, available at www.srtr.org, highlighted the outstanding results of Aurora's organ transplant programs for transplants completed between July 1st, 2010 - December 31st, 2012.

Highlights of the outcome report include:

  • The SRTR is the only national database providing detailed information about the performance of transplant centers across the United States. A key measure of performance for all transplant centers is patient survival 30 days and 1 year after transplant.
  • Aurora St. Luke’s has met or exceeded national benchmarks for patient survival in all organ areas: heart, liver, kidney, and kidney pancreas.
  • In all organ areas, our patient survivals are above 90%; over 90% of our patients are alive one month and/or one year after their transplant.
  • Our heart transplant 30 day survival has remained at 100% for over three years.
  • Our liver transplant 30 day survival has been 99% for the last three years.
  • Both our heart and liver transplant 30 day and one year survival rates are above national benchmarks.
  • Our liver transplant program continues to the highest volume in Southeastern Wisconsin.
  • Our heart transplant program continues to be the highest volume in the state of Wisconsin
  • Our heart transplant program is among the top ten programs in the nation in number of heart transplants performed and our one year patient survivals are above the top two volume programs in the country

Historical Timeline

The transplant program at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center is in the top 10% of hospitals nationwide for volume of transplant procedures.


  • 1st heart transplant in the Midwest performed at St. Luke's on October 21, 1968.


  • Established St. Luke's Heart Transplant Program. Since then, more than 500 heart transplants have been completed at St. Luke's.


  • Physicians at St. Luke's implanted Wisconsin's 1st Jarvik-7 artificial heart as a bridge to transplant.


  • Became the 1st hospital in Wisconsin to receive Medicare approval for heart transplants.


  • St. Luke's became the 1st Wisconsin hospital to implant the pneumatic Heartmate, a ventricular assist device.


  • Received United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) approval for lung transplants.
  • Performed the 1st lung transplant operation.


  • St. Luke's was the 1st hospital in the Midwest to implant the vented electric Heartmate ventricular assist device and the 1st to manage the care of a patient at home while his heart was being supported by the device.


  • St. Luke's successfully completed the Midwest's 1st heart transplant on a patient who had been living at home while his heart was supported by a vented electric Heartmate.


  • Received UNOS approval for liver transplants.
  • Performed the 1st liver transplant operation.


  • Received UNOS approval for kidney transplants.
  • Received Medicare approval for kidney transplants.
  • Performed 1st multiple organ (kidney-heart) transplant.
  • Performed 1st cadaver kidney transplant.


  • Performed 1st live donor kidney transplant.


  • 1st kidney, pancreas transplant formed


  • Performed 500th heart transplant operation since 1st heart transplant in 1968
  • 1st simultaneous liver-kidney transplant performed