With a year-to-date total of 108 kidney transplants, the multidisciplinary team of transplants specialists and surgeons in the UA Departments of Nephrology and Surgery—as well as others supporting it—recently celebrated the all-time record achievement at the Banner – University Medical Center Tucson (BUMCT).
The milestone places the hospital in the company of some of the largest transplant centers in the country.
In recognition, a reception that drew more than 50 people was held from 3-5 p.m., Nov. 29, in the atrium of the Leon F. Levy Building at the UA Cancer Center, 1515 N. Campbell Ave.
Congratulations to transplant surgeons Drs. Robert Harland, Marian Porubsky and Tun Jie, nephrologists Drs. Pradeep Kadambi, Lavanya Kodali and Asjad Sardar and the entire team of transplant nurse coordinators, administrative support staff, social workers, pharmacists, nutritionists, financial coordinators, nurses, OR teams, lab staff and perfusion technicians.
Perhaps the person who most values the achievement was patient Maria Villalobos, who had been on dialysis for six years when she received a new kidney on Oct. 24, making her the hospital’s 100th kidney transplant patient of 2016.
The mother of five and grandmother of 13 was thrilled with her care at BUMCT.
“We’ve been at other hospitals but we’ve never felt so welcomed,” her daughter said.
A Team Effort
UA Professor and Division of Nephrology Chief Prabir Roy-Chaudhury, MD, PhD, noted that it took tremendous teamwork on many levels across the UA-Banner partnership to accomplish this feat.
“I feel that reaching this milestone is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the entire transplant group,” he said. “More importantly, it allows us to provide to our patients in Southern Arizona the quality of care they deserve.”
Dr. Kadambi, a UA professor of medicine and chief of clinical affairs and medical director for solid organ transplantation at Banner – UMC Tucson and South, agreed.
“We are thrilled,” he said. “This signifies several things. One, our patients and families don’t have to travel far to be considered for a kidney transplant. Two, our community nephrology partners trust us to provide the best transplant care locally and regionally. It also offers a sense of pride to our dynamic multi-disciplinary team and its commitment to provide the best care for our patients. We also share a deep gratitude to all the donors and their families for giving the gift of life.”
Right Donor, Right Recipient
Dr. Harland echoed Dr. Kadambi’s sentiments.
“We have spent the past two years focused on increasing our ability to evaluate potential recipients as well as making sure that patients who were on the waiting list are ready to be safely transplanted. We’ve also focused on identifying the most appropriate recipient for every suitable kidney that is offered,” Dr. Harland said.
“This includes assessing kidneys with a biopsy and/or putting them on a perfusion pump to predict adequate function. We take the time to know the patients on our waiting list, which helps us identify the right donor organ for the right recipient.
“Our referring nephrologists have been extremely supportive, entrusting us with the opportunity offer transplantation to their patients and caring for them while they are on the waiting list and once their transplanted kidney is functioning well and they are recovered from their transplant procedure,” he added.
Pictured in photo at top right of page are (left side, back row) Margaret ‘Peggy’ Wiggins, RN, Transplant coordinator; Deb Maurer, RN, associate vice president, Transplant & Artificial Heart Services, Banner – UMC; Jeff Buehrle, CFO, Banner Health; (left side, front row) Prabir Roy-Chaudhury, MD, PhD; Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Kallenborn, RN, MSN, CCTC, director, Transplant Services, Banner – UMC; Pradeep Kadambi, MD, and Bob Harland, MD; (right side, back row) Kim Hilty, RN, clinical supervisor and on Donor Network of Arizona (DNA) committee for hospital; Rebecca Rohrer, RN, manager, Abdominal Transplant Team; Laura Tank, manager, Transplant Quality; (right side, front row) nephrologist Chyi Chyi Chong, MD; Brianne Snyder with DNA, and Jeannie Homan, coordinator, Organ Procurement, Banner – UMC.