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BIRMINGHAM (March 14, 2013) – Children’s of Alabama recently received approval from the United Network for Organ Sharing to begin performing heart, liver and kidney transplant surgery on pediatric patients at the new Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children. The first transplant was performed earlier this week.

Previously, pediatric patients needing a solid organ transplant were admitted to Children’s for pre-op testing and care, transported to the University of Alabama at Birmingham for surgery and then transported back to Children’s for post-operative care. Now all services related to pediatric organ transplant are united under one roof in the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children, a state-of-the-art $400 million facility that opened last summer. The move means increased convenience for patients and their families, and a more seamless delivery of care.

“Moving pediatric transplant surgery to our campus is the culmination of years of careful planning and preparation. As an organization, we are excited to be able to offer this level of care to the youngsters who need such lifesaving procedures and we’re proud to say that Children’s is now truly one of the nation’s leading comprehensive pediatric medical centers,” said Mike Warren, CEO.

To gain UNOS approval, Children’s successfully met program designation and approval criteria that ensure that the hospital has the facilities, training, personnel and support services required for safe and successful organ transplantation.

UNOS is the private, non-profit organization that manages the nation's organ transplant system under contract with the federal government. It provided placement services for 11,739 organ offers in 2012, setting an all-time annual record for placement activity in its 30-year history.

Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children since 1911, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Last year, families made more than 670,000 outpatient and nearly 14,000 inpatient visits to Children’s from every county in Alabama and from 41 other states and four foreign countries. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. and has been ranked among the top children’s hospital programs in the country for the past three years by US News & World Report. More information is available at