Organ and Tissue Transplant Program


Giving patients a second chance at life. 

Every day about 600 Albertans with end-stage organ failure wait anxiously for the phone to ring - for a call that offers them a second chance at life. 

For many patients who die on organ wait lists every year in Alberta, it's a phone call that never comes. 

Alberta has historically faced low donor rates, and a high need for transplantable organs. In 2015, 300 organ transplant were performed at the University of Alberta Hospital, Alberta Health Services’ centre for organ transplantation in Northern Alberta, and the most comprehensive organ and tissue donation centre in Canada. These transplants were received from 84 organ donors. Meanwhile, 401 patients were waiting for an organ transplant in Edmonton.

Second to none  

The University of Alberta Hospital is home to the most comprehensive organ and tissue transplant program in Canada - providing gold standard care to more than seven million Canadians across Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nunavut, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. No other program offers the complete range of transplant procedures — heart, kidney, liver, lung, heart/lung, small bowel, pancreas, islet, eye and tissue.

Inspiring innovation 

The relative isolation of Edmonton with respect to the area it serves has proven to be a catalyst for life-saving innovation. Stats show that only 1 in 4 donor lungs can be used due to various restrictions. Clinical research has begun on a portable, ex-vivo perfusion system that enables doctors to repair slightly flawed donor lungs at the recovery site.

Making the equipment portable negates the distance factor that the transplant program must contend with, and opens the door to potentially twice as many suitable donor-lungs as before.

Ex vivo lung transplant

Dr. Darren Freed, far left, and Dr. Jayan Nagendran, far right, show Board Chair of the University Hospital Foundation Bob Bessette, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, and Alberta Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous a set of profused lungs on a machine that could change the way donor organs are prepared for transplantation.


Alberta Transplant Innovation Fund

Learn more about here.

Team approach 

A committed team of experts from a range of medical disciplines and support services is needed to deliver complex care before and long after transplant surgery.

That’s why surgeons, physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nutritionists, social workers and other medical consultants work together to provide the highest level of coordinated care to patients in the specialized 18-bed, multi-organ transplant unit.

This commitment to excellence extends to all corners of the multi-faceted transplant program at the University of Alberta Hospital:

Bringing HOPE

Critical to the success of the transplant program is having the ability to provide transplantable donor organs. The Human Organ Procurement and Exchange (HOPE) Program coordinates the donation, allocation, recovery and distribution of organs for transplantation. HOPE also provides vital patient services such as advocacy support for individuals considering organ donation and bereavement support for families of organ donors.

Comprehensive Tissue Centre

Complimenting the transplant and surgery programs is the Comprehensive Tissue Centre, one of only three full service multi-tissue banks in Canada that facilitate the recovery, storage, processing and distribution of human tissue from living and cadaveric donors for transplant. pport for individuals considering organ donation and bereavement support for families of organ donors.

Islet Transplants

The University of Alberta Hospital is home to the largest islet transplant program in the world, and the birthplace of the Edmonton Protocol, a revolutionary procedure for conducting islet transplants on patients with Type 1diabetes.


Your generous gifts today will enable the University Hospital Foundation to provide the Organ and Tissue Transplant Program the support it needs to remain at the forefront of patient care, and on the leading edge of research and innovation.

Donate Now

Donor Office - University of Alberta Hospital

1H1.91 WMC, 8440 – 112 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T6G 2B7

Donor Office - Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute

2A9.006 MAHI, 8440 – 112 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T6G 2B7

Donor Office - Kaye Edmonton Clinic

1B.120 KEC, 11400 University Avenue, Edmonton, AB T6G 1Z1

University Hospital Foundation

Phone: 780-407-7007 | Fax: 780-407-6603
Charitable Registration Number  88900-3240 RR0001


     AHP High Performer 2017     



Copyright 2020 University Hospital Foundation