Springfield Memorial Hospital is one of two central Illinois hospitals to offer kidney transplantations. The hospital's Medicare-certified transplant program was established in 1972; an average of 32 kidney transplants are performed each year.

A dedicated team provides support, guidance and education, including pre-transplant evaluations, post-operative care and care management for the lifetime of the transplanted organs.

Start the kidney transplant journey by requesting a referral to the Alan G. Birtch, MD, Center for Transplant Services by kidney physician or dialysis unit. Self-referrals are also accepted.

Evaluation Process

Meet transplant team members and review previous medical history and records. Learn about the transplant process through education materials the patient can review online or through in-person meetings.

A separate meeting with a social worker will evaluate the patient’s ability to cope with stress of transplantation and address additional questions or concerns. The patient must identify a support system including a care partner/support person who will help through the surgery process and initial recovery. Available assistance programs, mental health and substance abuse issues as well as advance directives (Power of Attorney for Health Care, Living Will) will also be addressed.


Several tests will be ordered to ensure the patient is a good candidate for transplant including blood tests for tissue typing and infection screening, chest X-ray, electrocardiogram (EKG) and abdominal CT scans. All recommended cancer screenings like colonoscopies, mammograms and pap smears must be up to date. Testing and evaluation may take several visits over weeks or months.

The Transplant Team

  • The patient is considered an important part of the team.
  • Family members can include spouse, parents, children or other friends or family members.
  • Transplant surgeon is the doctor who places the kidney in patient’s body.
  • Nephrologist is the doctor who specializes in kidney health.
  • Transplant coordinator is a specially trained nurse who acts as patient’s point of contact, arranges appointments and educates about what to do before and after transplant.
  • Social worker is trained to help coordinate care needs before and after transplant.
  • Financial coordinator helps patient understand financial aspects of transplant including insurance coverage and other funding sources.
  • Dietitian teaches patient about foods to eat and avoid and healthy meal planning.

National Waiting List

If a candidate for transplant at the Alan G. Birtch, MD, Center for Transplant Services, the patient will be put on a national waiting list to receive an organ. During the waiting period, patient will be in frequent contact with the center. Patient will be required to have monthly lab tests while on the waiting list.

Living Donors

Springfield Memorial Hospital offers minimally invasive laparoscopic nephrectomy for those considering a living organ kidney transplant. Living donors are often related to the patient, such as a sibling or parent, but a living donor does not have to be a blood relative.

How to Become a Living Donor

Contact the Alan G. Birtch, MD, Center for Transplant Services at Springfield Memorial Hospital by phone at 217-788-3441 or 888-864-9433 or via our website. Transplant program employees are not allowed to make the first contact with a potential living donor.

Support Groups

A support group is available through the Seven County Dialysis Fund. Call 217-891-2981 for details.

Contact Us

To request an initial consultation or for more information, call 217-788-3441 or 888-864-9433.