Long Island’s first heart transplants were performed this month in Manhasset.
Michelle Pinto, Northwell Health media relations director, said the transplants were performed on Feb. 19 and Feb. 26 at Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital at North Shore University Hospital.
A news conference is set for next week with more information and potentially one of the transplant patients, Pinto said.
The North Shore hospital was approved in June by New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to open the island’s first heart transplant program.
Northwell hospitals collectively treat more heart failure patients than any other health system in the state. Over the past three years, Northwell facilities hospitalized 20,906 heart failure patients, 14 percent of the statewide total.
New York has the highest number of candidates waiting for a heart transplant, with 322 residents on the waiting list, according to the Organ Procurement Transplantation Network. Beyond Long Island, the state has five heart transplant centers: three in New York City, one in Westchester and another in Rochester.
As part of developing a heart transplant center and in conjunction with LiveOnNY, Northwell Health is trying to increase organ donations to meet the needs of all types of organ transplant recipients.
Dr. Lewis Teperman, Northwell Health’s director of solid organ transplantation, said with increased awareness and internal programs for physicians, nurses and other clinicians to make referrals, organ donations for the health system improved by almost one-third in a six-month period last year.