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Atrium Health Levine Children's Hospital Partners with UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to Expand Pediatric Liver Transplant Program in North Carolina

May 3, 2024

To provide the best care possible and highest chance for a successful liver transplant for families in North Carolina, Atrium Health Levine Children's Hospital has partnered with UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh to expand its pediatric liver transplant program. 

Specifically, the partnership will allow Levine Children’s Hospital to expand its abilities to transplant livers in infants and toddlers. This further strengthens Levine Children’s expertise by expanding its skilled team of surgeons and board-certified transplant hepatologists to provide personalized care for their youngest patients before, during and after their transplant, close to home.

“Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital is proud of our breadth and depth of care across multiple specialties,” said Stacy Nicholson, MD, president of Atrium Health Levine Children’s. “This partnership with UPMC Children's will ensure that Levine Children’s Hospital can now provide even more children with life-saving liver transplantation, while keeping the entirety of their care, from start to finish, local.”

Atrium Health, part of Charlotte-based Advocate Health, began pediatric liver transplants in July 2000 and offers the only pediatric transplant program in the greater Charlotte region at Levine Children’s Hospital. Both Levine Children’s Hospital and UPMC Children's Hospital’s pediatric liver transplant programs consistently exceed national averages on patient and graft survival. Together in this partnership, the program will be elevated to provide innovative, expert patient and family-centered transplant care for all who need it.

“We are excited to work with the Atrium Health Levine Children’s team to expand access to world-class pediatric liver transplant services for patients throughout North Carolina and the surrounding region,” said George Mazariegos, MD, chief of pediatric transplantation at UPMC Children’s. “We want to be an extension of its already renowned team of transplant surgeons to provide the best possible care and make transplant a life-saving treatment for families in this region."

“Atrium Health Levine Children’s is extremely proud of the positive outcomes we have been able to achieve, especially within the life-saving space of organ transplant,” said Vincent Casingal, MD, surgical director for abdominal transplant at Atrium Health Levine Children’s. “By partnering with the team of experts at UPMC Children’s, which we recognize as pioneers in the pediatric liver transplant space, we can further expand those positive outcomes for the patients and families who trust us to continuously provide top-tier care.”

To offer these transplants to families in the North Carolina area, hepatology and transplant teams at Levine Children’s will work with the Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation at UPMC Children’s, which has performed more than 1,800 pediatric liver transplants – more than any other center in the United States, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing – with patient survival rates consistently higher than national averages.

In 1981, UPMC Children’s opened the country’s first comprehensive pediatric transplant center. The program remains at the leading edge of expertise, innovation and patient and family-centered care for transplant patients from all over the world. 

Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital opened in December 2007 with the goal of providing the best care for children and has achieved that by being named a U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospital every year since its inception. The nationally ranked hospital not only provides liver transplants, but also has robust heart and kidney solid organ transplant programs, with organ waiting times shorter than the national average and a full pediatric transplant team guiding families through the transplant process.