Heart Transplant Program

The Baptist Health Heart Transplant Program is surgically led by Dr. John Ransom and medically directed by Dr. Steve Hutchins. Both physicians have been with the program since its inception and have worked hard to provide a high-quality transplant program for all Arkansans. Currently, Dr. Ransom and Drs. Hutchins, Patrick Campbell and Keerthy Narisetty and their staff monitor and care for hundreds of transplant patients in varying stages of the transplant process. All transplant staff members involved with the program are dedicated to making this a positive experience for the referring physicians, their patients and families. 

The Baptist Health Heart Failure and Transplant Institute offers a seamless care path for advanced heart failure patients who eventually require advanced heart failure therapies - from management to ventricular assist device to transplantation.

No other hospital in the state can offer this level of care.

Baptist Health Heart Transplant Team:

Surgical Director: Dr. John Ransom MD
Medical Director: Dr. Steve Hutchins, MD
Transplant/VAD Surgeons: Dr. Derlis Martino, Dr. James Day, Dr. John Busby
Transplant Cardiologists: Dr. Patrick Campbell and Dr. Keerthy Narisetty
Transplant/VAD Physician Assistants: Wes Hall, MPAS, PA-C and Joshua Johnson, MPAS, PA-C
Transplant/VAD Manager: Brian Cherry
Administrator: Brian Cherry
Heart Transplant Coordinators:
Lola Fish, RN
April Goodnight, RN
Pam Myers, RN
Stephanie Thomson, RN
VAD Coordinators:
Christina Barnett, RN
Tori Davenport, RN
Opal Flowers, RN
Jimmy Matchett, RN
Katie Thompson, RN
Heart Transplant/VAD Social Worker: Lindsey Estes, LMSW
Business Manager: Melissa Wyles
Financial Coordinator: Yvonne Vaughn
Transplant/VAD Pharmacist: Jennifer Day, PhamD
Transplant/VAD Dietician: Beth Hawley RD
Clinical Trials Manager: Amy Ford
Quality Analyst/Data Coordinator: Beth Reesor, RN
Heart Transplant/VAD Assistants:
Debra Carmen
Kim Patterson
Trina Ware

What are the patient outcomes?

Baptist Health Heart Transplant Statistics

  • 30-day survival as of July 6, 2017: 96.43 percent (National Avg 96.30 percent)
  • One year survival as of July 6, 2017: 96.43 percent (National Avg 91.05 percent)
  • Three year survival as of July 6, 2017: 88.89 percent (National Avg 85.22 percent)
  • To date, Baptist Health Heart Transplant Program has performed 270 heart transplants since it's beginning in 1989.

For more information about Baptist Health’s Heart Transplant Program, please call (501) 202-1500, option two or toll-free at 1-800-768-8003, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For emergencies, call (501) 516-7802.


James Edmondson couldn't climb a flight of stairs without feeling fatigued. He would need a ventricular assist device while waiting for a heart transplant - two procedures in Arkansas performed only at Baptist Health Heart Institute.

When Paul Lipsmeyer's heart failed him, he knew he was in a fight for his life. What he didn't know is that his new heart would open up a whole new world for him.

Tanesha Blackburn experienced progessive heart systems failure during her third pregnancy. After her transplant, she was able to walk down the aisle to marry the man of her dreams.