St. Joseph's Affiliation

When Laura needed surgery in 2003, there was no lung transplant program available in the Phoenix area. She had to travel to Stanford University Medical Center for evaluation, surgery, and rehabilitation and then return frequently for the lifelong monitoring that all organ recipients must have.  In addition to visits to the transplant facility, patients must receive regular medical support through doctors and hospitals near their homes. The only frustration Laura ever expressed during her years of illness stemmed from the challenge of arranging and coordinating the local support she needed. One can only imagine how much less daunting Laura’s journey might have been had there been a hospital in Phoenix that was able provide the highly specialized and time-sensitive care that all transplant patients require.

St. Joseph Hospital's Norton Thoracic Institute

In 2007 when St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix announced its lung transplant program at the new Center for Thoracic Transplantation (now known as the Norton Thoracic Institute), the Board of Laura’s Foundation recognized it as an opportunity to “pay it forward” for all the blessings, care and love Laura had received. The program offered an ideal match for the stated mission of Laura’s Foundation:  To provide social support and assistance to lung transplant patients and their families.  A new partnership was formed between St. Joseph's and the Laura Hart Burdick Foundation

Since its inception in 2007, the Institute has performed over 600 successful lung transplants, 114 in 2016 alone, making it the busiest lung transplant program in the country.  "The numbers are humbling", said Ross Bremner, MD, director of the Norton Thoracic Institute.  "Not only have we been able to reach an incredible number of patients, but the team's hard work is clearly shown in the exceptional quality scores the team received earlier this year."  Wait-times and one-year survival rates are better than the national averages, and the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients ranks St. Joseph's at the top of its list, with a 5/5 quality score.  Dr. Bremner is hopeful that research being done at the Institute will soon find the solution to chronic organ rejection, which will further improve patient longevity.

Supporting St. Joseph's Lung Transplant Program

As the number of available organs and transplants continue to increase, so does the number of patients in need of help at a time when they are least able to help themselves. The Institute's staff identifies unmet patient and program needs and channels donations from Laura's Foundation to help meet those needs. Since 2009, Laura's Foundation has donated over $220,000 to support St. Joseph's lung transplant patients and their families.  We thank all the friends of Laura’s Foundation who have made this possible.