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, Drs. Ransom and Hutchins 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
Medical Director: Dr. Steve Hutchins
Transplant/VAD Surgeons: Dr. Derlis Martino, Dr. James Day and Dr. John Busby
Transplant/VAD Physician Assistant: Wes Hall, MPAS, PA-C
Transplant/VAD Manager: Melony Hilton, RN, MBA
Administrator: Brian Cherry

Heart Transplant Coordinators:
Haley Payne, RN
Lola Fish, RN
Stephanie Thomson, RN, BSN

Heart Transplant/VAD Social Worker: Lindsey Estes, LMSN
Business Manager: Melissa Wyles 
Financial Coordinator: Yvonne Vaughn 
Transplant/VAD Pharmacist: Jennifer Day, PharmD
Transplant/VAD Dietician: Robin Reynolds, RD, LD
Quality Analyst/Data Coordinator: Beth Girard, RN

Heart Transplant/VAD Assistants: 
Tressie Junior
Trina Ware
Kim Patterson

What are the patient outcomes?

The best advocates for the care you can expect from Baptist Health are the patients themselves. Hear success stories from a few of our patients.

Baptist Health Heart Institute Raises Awareness for Heart Organ Donors

Brittany Dow, 250th Heart Transplant Patient

James Edmondson, Artificial Heart & Heart Transplant Patient (4:13)

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. Hear his story.

Paul Lipsmeyer, Heart Transplant Patient (2:00)

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. Hear his story. 

Tanesha Blackburn, Heart Transplant Patient (1:47)

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. Hear her story.

Baptist Health Heart Transplant Statistics

  • 30-day survival (transplanted between Jan 1, 2012 and Jun 30, 2016): 92.86 percent (National Avg 95.97 percent)
  • One year survival (transplanted between Jan 1, 2012 and Jun 30, 2016): 89.29 percent (National Avg 90.36 percent)
  • Three year survival (transplanted between Jan 1, 2012 and Jun 30, 2016): 95 percent (National Avg 84.36 percent)
  • To date, Baptist Health Heart Transplant Program has performed 260 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.