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St. Vincent Medical Center status moved to probation

Published on: Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Richmond, VA -- The OPTN/UNOS Executive Committee has removed the designation of St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles as a "Member Not in Good Standing." In its place, St. Vincent will have probationary status until it completes a plan of correction to the satisfaction of the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors.

"We feel that St. Vincent has progressed in its efforts to correct deficiencies in administrative oversight that led to past violations of OPTN policy," said Timothy L. Pruett, M.D., president of the OPTN and UNOS and Chair of the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors. "At the same time, we believe that the hospital needs to continue a course of corrective action and remain under heightened monitoring, which is the purpose of probation."

The OPTN/UNOS Executive Committee approved this action upon the recommendation of the OPTN/UNOS Membership and Professional Standards Committee, which reviews member compliance with OPTN policy and standards. The Executive Committee is authorized to take this action between regularly scheduled meetings of the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors. However, any action undertaken by the Executive Committee is subject to separate consideration and ratification at the next Board of Directors meeting.

St. Vincent was initially declared a Member Not in Good Standing in March 2006, following OPTN findings of policy violations within the hospital's liver transplant program. The hospital voluntarily inactivated its liver transplant program in September 2005, and in 2006 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services revoked its designated program status for liver transplantation. St. Vincent continues to operate kidney and pancreas transplant programs.

While probation is a public adverse action under the OPTN By-Laws, it does not affect St. Vincent's ability to add patients to the waiting list for kidney and pancreas transplantation, receive organ offers for listed candidates, perform transplants or provide ongoing care for transplant recipients. However, the entire institution will remain on probation until St. Vincent successfully completes its plan of corrective action, demonstrating that institution-wide safeguards are operating effectively to ensure that violations of organ allocation policy and federal data submission regulations will not occur in any of its transplant programs in the future.

The action also restores St. Vincent's full membership privileges in the OPTN and UNOS. These include St. Vincent's ability to vote as an institution on elected positions to the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors. In addition, transplant professionals affiliated with St. Vincent may again be eligible to serve on OPTN/UNOS committees.

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) is operated under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Division of Transplantation by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). The OPTN brings together medical professionals, transplant recipients and donor families to develop organ transplantation policy.