World-Renowned Heart and Lung Transplant Expert Joins Spectrum Health Transplant Team

Another renowned cardiothoracic surgeon has joined the team at Spectrum Health’s Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center.

Martin Strueber, MD, joins Spectrum Health to spearhead the continued growth and development of the Richard DeVos Heart and Lung Transplant Program. Dr. Strueber is a cardiothoracic transplant surgeon and an expert in transplant surgery and mechanical assist devices for the heart.

The organ transplant program at the Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center has quickly gained attention since it was established in 2010 by Asghar Khaghani, MD, an international expert who has performed more heart transplants than any other physician in the world. The program recently completed its 50th heart transplant.

“The Meijer Heart Center recently entered its 10th anniversary year and our accomplishments in the past decade, including our transplant program, have been instrumental in improving the care provided to our community,” said Tina Freese-Decker, president, Spectrum Health Hospital Group. “Dr. Strueber’s expertise, innovation and approach to patient care are tremendous assets as we strive to be one of the country’s premier programs.”

“I am pleased to become a part of the team at Spectrum Health and to help expand the important work being accomplished here by Dr. Khaghani and his colleagues,” said Dr. Strueber.  “I look forward to continuing the growth of a transplant program that is a vital resource for patients in need of a high level of care.”

Freese-Decker noted that Dr. Strueber is an international figure in the world of ventricular assist device, heart transplant, and lung transplant.

“Dr. Strueber is widely recognized as a pioneer and as one of the true innovators in the field. He’s relied upon by both industry and clinical leaders when a difficult medical problem is noted and there is consideration for potential use of a new device,” said Freese-Decker. “He’s had a hand in designing or improving many of the life-saving products used in the fields of heart failure and transplantation.”

Dr. Strueber earned his medical degree from Hannover Medical School in Hannover, Germany.  He completed a cardiac surgery residency at Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany, and completed a cardiac surgery senior residency at Hannover Medical School. Before joining Spectrum Health, Dr. Strueber served as director of the thoracic organ transplantation and mechanical assist device program at Herzzentrum Leipzig, a university heart center in Leipzig, Germany.

He is a member of the board of directors for the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation and secretary of the European Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation.

Spectrum Health performed its first heart transplant in 2010 and its first lung transplant as well as its first combined heart and lung transplant in 2013. The program has completed 52 heart transplants and 34 lung transplants to date.

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system, based in West Michigan, offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of 11 hospitals including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital; 173 ambulatory and service sites; 1,200 physicians and advanced practice providers including members of Spectrum Health Medical Group; and Priority Health, a 626,000-member health plan. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer with 21,800 employees. The organization provided $294.6 million in community benefit during its 2014 fiscal year. In 2014, Spectrum Health was named one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems® by Truven Health Analytics.