UAMS Kidney, Liver Transplant Programs Again Ranked Among Nation’s Best

By Linda Satter

In a report released this month by The Scientific Registry for Transplant Recipients (SRTR), both programs received the highest ranking possible — five bars — for the speed at which patients obtain transplants after being listed. That, according to the registry that benchmarks transplant program outcomes across the country at the behest of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has the largest impact on survival — an indication of the programs’ overall quality.

The report also gave the UAMS kidney transplant program five bars for patient survivability one year after transplant, placing it for the third consecutive year among only a handful of transplant centers across the country that scored five bars in both the speed and one-year survivability categories.

Meanwhile, UAMS’ liver transplant program moved up the rankings this year for the speed of obtaining a transplant, from three bars in 2022 to five bars this year, while continuing for a second consecutive year to score four bars for survivability one year after transplant.

The most recent data places the UAMS kidney transplant program third among 256 kidney transplant programs nationwide and the UAMS liver transplant program fourth among the country’s 149 liver transplant programs.

UAMS operates the only adult kidney and liver transplant programs in Arkansas. The kidney transplant program has been operating since 1964, while the liver transplant program began in 2005.

“These unbiased rankings show that our transplant programs are headed by some of the most talented and dedicated transplant surgeons in the country and that the efforts of these teams are being noticed,” said UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson, M.D., MBA. “We are proud of them, but not surprised.”

The SRTR report is publicly released every January and July. The rankings issued July 6 are based on transplants performed between Jan. 1, 2020 and June 30, 2022, with follow-up tracked through Dec. 31, 2022.

“SRTR seeks to provide information that is accurate, clear and timely for use by the public, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Organ Procurement and Transportation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing, transplant programs, organ procurement organizations, transplant recipients, living donors and donor families,” according to its mission statement.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and eight institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute, Institute for Digital Health & Innovation and the Institute for Community Health Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS’ clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children’s, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.