Largo Medical Center March 13, 2014

Largo, FL - Today on World Kidney Day, Largo Medical Center is proud to announce it has been approved to offer one of the most highly specialized adult kidney transplant programs on the west coast of Florida. The program will serve the state’s Transplantation Area 2 comprised of 13 counties*. A kidney transplant is an operation where a person with a diseased or failing kidney receives a donated kidney from a living or deceased donor. The new kidney assists in removing toxins from a patient’s blood enabling them to live longer, without kidney dialysis.

“In order to continue to grow as a teaching hospital, having a program of this scope and complexity, benefits the patients, family members and friends of those who need it most,” said Anthony Degina, Largo Medical Center, Chief Executive Officer. “One benefit to opening the program at our hospital is that it breaks down realistic geographic barriers for the millions of people in our service area who currently must travel a longer distance for kidney transplant services.”

Other benefits Degina mentions is that it equates to more access, energy and focus on transplantation and expertise within the community, meaning:

  • there will be an increase in local public organ donation education,
  • increased awareness will assist in increasing the number of potential donors,
  • there will be reduced wait times for patients on multiple wait lists,
  • there will be shorter travel times for transplant candidates in greater Pinellas County and beyond.

“As one of the largest post graduate academic centers in Florida, we are excited about the opportunity to support Largo Medical Center’s kidney transplant program with the development of a nephrology fellowship, “ said Anthony Ottaviani, DO, MPH, Chief Academic & Designated Institutional Officer. “This will enhance the hospital’s commitment to our community through service and educating tomorrow’s physicians today.”

Nephrology is the specialty of medicine that concerns itself with the study of normal kidney function, kidney problems, dialysis and transplantation.

During the 4th quarter of 2013, Largo Medical Center filed a kidney transplant program letter of intent and application. This month Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) granted the hospital’s certificate of need request. The program is expected to be operational in 2015. Largo Medical Center is one of only eight hospitals statewide approved to provide kidney transplant services.