Specialists and Care Centers

Kidney Transplantation Specialists and Care Centers

Northwestern Memorial Hospital continues to be the largest and most successful transplant program in Illinois and one of the largest in the Midwest, performing more than 4,000 transplants since the program’s inception and 174 kidney transplants in 2015 alone.

Additionally, Northwestern Memorial Hospital is the largest living donor kidney transplant program in Illinois and one of the larger programs in the country, performing 86 living donor kidney transplants in 2015 and more than 300 over the last three years.

Transplant patient and graft outcomes continue to be excellent and compare favorably with local, regional and national outcomes. View our center-specific performance data2 as well as data of other centers.

Benefits of our comprehensive kidney transplant program include:

  • One of only a handful of centers in the country offering ABO-incompatible transplantation
  • One of a few transplant centers in the country investigating new therapies to help wean transplant recipients off immunosuppressant drugs
  • A leader in kidney paired donation, a possible solution for donor and recipient pairs who are not compatible with each other
  • One of the world’s most experienced centers for steroid-free kidney transplantation
  • One of the nation’s leading centers for laparoscopic kidney procedures
  • Satellite outreach clinics providing transplant evaluation services closer to home
  • Hispanic Transplant Program offering a culturally sensitive approach to patient care
  • Innovative methods to get patients home sooner
  • Integration with the pancreas and islet transplant programs for combined transplants for renal disease and type 1 diabetes patients
Your Northwestern Medicine kidney transplant team1 will comprise:

  • Surgeons
  • Nephrologists
  • Transplant coordinator
  • Nurses
  • Psychologist
  • Social worker
  • Pharmacist
  • Dietician

Satellite outreach clinics

In addition to the downtown campus, we are available to see your patients at any one of our six kidney transplant outreach clinics, including:

  • Peoria: Serving central and southern Illinois
  • Glenview: Serving the northern and northwestern suburbs
  • Joliet: Serving the southern and southwestern suburbs
  • Winfield: Serving the western and northwestern suburbs
  • Aurora: Serving the western and northwestern suburbs
  • Portage, Indiana: Serving northern Indiana and southwest Michigan

Our focus on community outreach benefits patients and their physicians by providing many of the pre-kidney transplant services close to home, convenient accessibility and the experience that affords our patients the opportunity for a successful kidney transplant. We are available to see the following types of patients in the outreach clinics:

  • Complex kidney disease patients requiring consultation or second opinion
  • Potential kidney transplant candidates
  • Patients on the Northwestern Memorial Hospital kidney transplant waiting list
To make an appointment at any of our satellite clinics, please call 312.695.4837.

New medical treatments and clinical trials

As a premier academic medical center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and its collaborative partner Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine are committed to the advancement of healthcare through clinical innovation, medical education and scientific research.

Our physicians participate in a wide range of clinical trials to improve the treatment of patients with kidney disease. Our kidney transplant team is currently enrolling patients into two stem cell-based therapies (HLA identical and HLA disparate) designed to wean kidney recipients off immunosuppression. These exciting and novel approaches are available to all patients with a living donor who meet study criteria. We have presented our results at national and international meetings and have published them in high-impact journals.

Finances and insurance

The Kovler Organ Transplantation Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital has contracts with many insurance groups, including many of the national transplant networks, to provide transplant services to their members. We also have a dedicated transplant financial coordinator who is available to help you with billing and insurance matters and assist you in obtaining pre-authorization for transplant surgery and transplant-related procedures. Our transplant financial coordinator works with private insurance carriers as well as Medicare and Medicaid and is an advocate for you and your family to help you navigate through the complex insurance process.

Related Resources



  • American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP)2: AAKP exists to serve the needs and interests of all kidney patients and their families by helping them deal with the emotional and social impact of kidney disease.
  • American Kidney Fund2: The fund provides direct financial assistance to kidney patients in need and education for those with and at risk for kidney disease.
  • Atlas of Diseases of the Kidney2: The online edition from ISN Informatics Commission and NKF Cyber-Nephrology provides information on kidney disease, treatment and research, including books and PowerPoint presentations.
  • Coalition on Donation2: The organization promotes organ donation and provides education about it.
  • Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network2: Website of the not-for-profit organ procurement organization that works with hospitals and donor families in the northern three-fourths of Illinois and northwest Indiana. The organization is responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue for medical transplantation in the service area, as well as for professional and public education on organ and tissue donation.
  • Home Dialysis Central2: This website is dedicated to educating kidney patients about home dialysis.
  • Kidney School2: This interactive, web-based learning program is designed to help people learn about kidney disease and its treatments, so they can take a more active role in their care.
  • Life Options2: This program of research, research-based education and outreach helps people live long and well with kidney disease.
  • MedlinePlus2: This is a trusted source that covers all aspects of organ donation and provides easy access to medical journal articles, extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials and the latest health news.
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases2: Part of the National Institutes of Health, this organization is involved in kidney disease research and treatment options.
  • National Kidney Foundation (NKF)2: This is the main foundation with 50 affiliates dedicated to providing prevention programs, educational services and materials for kidney patients, transplant recipients, communities and funding for research. NKF Affiliates: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio
  • National Organ and Tissue Donation Initiative2: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is undertaking this initiative to ease the critical shortage of organ and tissue donors by building a national community of organ sharing.
  • Nephron Information Center2: This site covers all aspects of kidney disease with many links to other sites.
  • Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN)2: OPTN is a unique public-private partnership that links all of the professionals involved in the donation and transplantation system. Its goals are to increase the supply of donated organs available for transplantation and the effectiveness and efficiency of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation (PKD)2: PKD Foundation’s mission is to promote research to find a cure for PKD and improve the care and treatment of those it affects.
  • The Renal Network 9/102: This network facilitates the achievement of optimal wellness for renal disease patients.
  • Renal WEB2: Vortex website of the dialysis world offers patient education and the latest information and news for kidney disease professionals regarding treatment of kidney disease.
  • Transplant Living2: This is the United Network for Organ Sharing patient education site for all transplant patients.
  • TransWeb2: TransWeb's mission is to provide information about donation and transplantation to the general public to promote organ donation and to provide transplant families with information dealing specifically with transplant issues.
  • United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)2: Through the UNOS Organ Center, organ donors are matched to waiting recipients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Through its policies, UNOS ensures that all patients have a fair chance at receiving the organ they need—regardless of age, sex, race, lifestyle, religion, or financial or social status. UNOS members include every transplant program, organ procurement organization and tissue typing laboratory in the United States.
  • U.S. Transplant—Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR)2: The SRTR supports the ongoing evaluation of the scientific and clinical status of solid organ transplantation in the United States.
  • Worldwide Kidney Disease Community2: This online resource brings together people with kidney disease, in a worldwide community dedicated to improving patient quality of life.

Support groups

The following associations have support groups available to help patients and their families through a transplantation:

Legal Information

In the spirit of keeping you well-informed, some of the physician(s) and/or individual(s) identified are neither agents nor employees of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare or any of its affiliate organizations. They have selected our facilities as places where they want to treat and care for their private patients.


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