Is a transplant candidate able to move to another state and associate with a different transplant team?

I am a DNP candidate helping a good friend who has a LVAD and currently is associated with a hospital in MN waiting for a heart transplant. Is he able to move to another state and associate with a different transplant team? Other teams around the country appear to transplant more hearts. He is 53, in great shape, and is walking 4-5 miles a day. He owns property and is able to get residency quickly in another state that transplants more hearts. Does this happen? Does he need to be released from his doctors in MN? PLEASE help.

Submitted by Susan from Minneapolis on 09/15/2014

by Hari R. Mallidi, MD 

The United Network for Organ Sharing website ( is an excellent website that has been a valuable resource for patients and their families awaiting organ transplantation. Detailed information regarding the ability of patients to be listed at multiple programs around the country is available at that website. In the particular situation of heart transplantation – organ availability is markedly varied across the country and heart transplant rates are markedly different across the different regions within the country. If you happen to be listed at a program that has access to a large and active donor network, then, the likelihood of being transplanted increases compared to being listed at centers that don’t have access to a large donor network. There are specific rules regarding multiple listings at multiple programs, however; in general, a patient is permitted to be listed at more than one program at the same time, and patients do not have to be released from their primary program to be listed elsewhere. The caveat, however, is that the other center has to be willing to accept the patient as a candidate for transplantation. Again, for more detailed information, please visit the website.