NEWS | December 6, 2011

UC Davis Medical Center receives 2012 Kidney Transplant Excellence Award


For the third year in a row, a leading, independent health-care ratings organization has recognized UC Davis Medical Center as one of the top hospitals in the nation for kidney transplantation.

The medical center's Kidney Transplant Program was one of only eight of 221 hospitals evaluated in the United States to receive a 2012 Kidney Transplant Excellence Award from HealthGrades, a Colorado-based firm that analyzes publicly available data in order to rate hospitals and their programs based solely on clinical outcomes.

To determine the best hospitals for organ transplants, HealthGrades examined the clinical quality outcomes of hospital transplant centers using the most recent Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) data for 2011. UC Davis' ranking was based on data from criteria calculated from the national database of transplantation. Compared to the kidney transplant programs evaluated, UC Davis had better-than-expected three-year patient survival rates. The medical center's program also had a significantly lower wait-list mortality rate, which tracks patient deaths while awaiting transplantation, and a significantly higher-than-expected deceased-donor transplant rate, which reflects improved transplantation opportunities for individuals.

Dr. Perez during a transplant surgery. © UC Regents
Dr. Richard Perez during a transplant surgery.

"The award for excellence reflects our continuing goal of providing the very best in kidney transplantation care and services," said Richard V. Perez, professor of surgery and director of the UC Davis Kidney Transplant Program. "Our comprehensive team includes surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, nephrologists, donor coordinators, pharmacists, dieticians and social workers. Everyone is dedicated to providing the full range of transplant care, both before and long after surgery. And our ability to collaborate with other UC Davis specialists, such as immunologists and cardiologists, helps ensure that every transplant patient receives great care and can enjoy a long life after their transplant."

Along with low wait-list mortality and higher patient-survival rates, the HealthGrades ranking analyzed the rate at which wait-listed patients received transplants. It also reflects the medical center's strong one- and three-year graft survival rates, which tracks how long the transplanted kidney is still functioning after transplantation.

UC Davis Medical Center has provided care to transplant patients from throughout Northern California and Northern Nevada since 1985. In recent years, UC Davis also has made it easier for individuals to donate a kidney. A unique, minimally invasive procedure known as a single-port donor nephrectomy, led by Christoph Troppmann, a professor of surgery, enables surgeons to extract a kidney through a tiny, two-inch incision, greatly reducing scarring and often speeding the recovery times for donors.

UC Davis Medical Center has one of the largest kidney transplant programs in the country. In 2011 alone, it has already performed more than 240 kidney transplants.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, there are about 90,000 people currently awaiting a kidney transplant, with need far outpacing the number of available donor organs.  In 2010, 16,898 kidney transplants took place in the U.S. Of these, approximately 10,622 kidney transplants came from deceased donors and 6,276 came from living donors. Because of the complexity involved, less than 300 hospitals out of 5,800 in the U.S. perform kidney transplants.

The ratings of individual hospitals, as well as the full methodology of the analysis, can be found at

UC Davis Medical Center is a comprehensive academic medical center where clinical practice, teaching and research converge to advance human health. Centers of excellence include the National Cancer Institute-designated UC Davis Cancer Center; the region's only level 1 pediatric and adult trauma centers; the UC Davis MIND Institute, devoted to finding treatments and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders; and the UC Davis Children's Hospital. The medical center serves a 33-county, 65,000-square-mile area that stretches north to the Oregon border and east to Nevada. It further extends its reach through the award-winning telemedicine program, which gives remote, medically underserved communities throughout California unprecedented access to specialty and subspecialty care. For more information, visit