The University of Chicago Medicine has become the first transplant center to contribute to the Illinois Transplant Fund (ITF), a new not-for-profit that provides financial support for organ transplants to qualified uninsured residents of northern and central Illinois and Northwest Indiana. The medical center's initial $100,000 donation will be followed by additional contributions of up to $400,000 total over the next three years.
UChicago Medicine's initial contribution to the ITF is a call-to-action for other academic institutions, businesses and members of the community to support the fund as well.
"We are very excited to make this program a reality. This will allow us to transplant these patients safely and provide the care and medications they need long-term," said Yolanda Becker, MD, professor of surgery and director of the kidney and pancreas transplant program at the University of Chicago Medicine. "This isn't just about the University of Chicago -- I encourage all of our partners throughout the state to lend their support to this deserving population."
Despite recent improvements after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, 11.9 percent of the U.S. population remains uninsured. Illinois has approximately 500,000 non-citizens with no access to publicly funded insurance programs who are effectively denied access to organ transplants. Continue reading