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U of U Health Celebrates Veterans Day With First-Ever Triple Organ Transplant Surgery

Keith Baker


WHAT: With all the doom and gloom being reported around COVID-19 numbers and transmission, University of Utah Health is sharing a positive story about a milestone we are set to celebrate tomorrow. On October 19th, the University of Utah Health transplant team performed its first-ever triple organ transplant surgery (heart, liver and kidney). Since 1989, only 25 of these multi-organ liver, kidney, heart transplants have been performed in U.S. (across 11 US Transplant Centers). Only two of these surgeries have been performed in the US this year, including the surgery at U of U Health.

Keith Baker, 58, is an Army veteran who was able to receive the triple organ transplant at U of U Health due to recent changes in VA benefits. These changes increase choices where veterans are able to receive health care. The care team who performed these surgeries will provide details and updates on the patient's condition, and discuss the importance of the partnership with the VA Hospital in providing transplant care to Veterans.

WHEN: Wednesday, November 11 (Veterans Day) at 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Virtual Press Conference via Zoom:


  • Josef Stehlik, MD, MPH Medical Director, Heart Transplantation Medical Director; Heart Failure & Heart Transplantation at SLC Veteran's Affairs Medical Center
  • Jeff Campsen, MD, FACS, Transplantation & Advanced Hepatobiliary Surgeon
  • Craig Selzman, MD, Medical Director, Transplant Service Line; Surgical Director, Heart & Lung Transplantation

WHY: U of U Health is one of the nationally designated Heart Transplant Centers for the VA. While this is the surgery of its kind to be performed at U of U Health, the volume of dual transplants of U of U Health heart recipients has increased over the past three and a half years with a total of seven heart recipients receiving a second organ simultaneously with their heart transplant.