- Associated Press - Monday, December 5, 2016

ERIE, Pa. (AP) - The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center says a northwestern Pennsylvania hospital has the region’s first and only accredited kidney transplant program.

UPMC Hamot in Erie has received final approval from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and from United Network for Organ Sharing, the nonprofit that oversees America’s transplant system.

The hospital is about 120 miles north of Pittsburgh.

UPMC says four transplant surgeries have been performed there in the past year as part of the accreditation process. Each involved living donors, though officials say the program will include dead donors in the future.

Transplant patients in northwestern Pennsylvania previously had to travel as far as Pittsburgh, Cleveland or Buffalo for the surgeries and pre- and post-operative care.

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