David Mulligan, MD, FACS, currently the vice president/president-elect of the OPTN Board of Directors, will assume the presidency on July 1. Dr. Mulligan is the chief of transplantation surgery and immunology at Yale New Haven Health. Matthew Cooper, MD, FACS, was also appointed to the Board of Directors and will become the vice president/president-elect. Dr. Cooper is the director of kidney and pancreas transplantation at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
The Gift of Life Donor Program led the U.S. for the 12th consecutive year in coordinating the most life-saving organs for transplant among all 58 U.S. OPOs. In addition, Gift of Life broke two national records in 2019, representing the highest totals ever recorded for organ donors (664) and transplants (1,865) by a U.S.-based OPO in a single year.
In December, Jayme Locke, MD, MPH, was named the director of the Division of Transplantation within the Department of Surgery at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Locke also serves as the director of the UAB Comprehensive Transplant Institute and as the inaugural holder of the Mark H. Deierhoi, MD, Endowed Professorship, making her only the second woman to receive an endowed professorship in surgery at UAB.
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) named its Transplant Institute the James D. Eason Transplant Institute in honor of long-time Memphis transplant surgeon James Eason, MD, who serves as program director of the Institute. Eason also serves as the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Chief of Transplantation, and he holds the UTHSC Endowed Chair of Excellence in Transplant Surgery.
Lifeline of Ohio facilitated the first adult DCD heart donation in the U.S. The donor was a 26-year-old Ohio man and was the first person to give six organs after circulatory death – kidneys, lungs, liver, and heart – saving five lives. All organs were successfully transplanted. The heart transplant surgery was performed at Duke University Hospital on December 1, 2019.
Joseph Leventhal, MD, PhD, was named the new director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center at Northwestern University. Dr. Leventhal's appointment follows the departure last summer of Michael Abecassis, MD, MBA, who now serves as the dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
ASTS welcomed Wendy Berrios as our new Training and Certification Coordinator. Wendy is a 2019 graduate of the University of Richmond with a double major in Health Care Studies and Italian. She loves learning about other cultures and had the opportunity to study abroad in Rome, Italy one semester. During her semester abroad, she interned at the National Institute for Health, Migration, and Poverty, where she conducted research to help medical professionals better understand patients through cultural competence and learned about factors that affect access to health care. This opportunity influenced her to write a comparative study of migrants’ access to health care in the United States and Europe for her senior thesis. Her undergraduate studies inspired her to seek a career path that would allow her to make a positive impact.
NLDAC is very pleased to welcome Sidni Brown, MSW, LCSW, CCTSW, as its new Senior Program Coordinator. Sidni has been in transplant since 2015, and was an abdominal pre-transplant social worker at Ascension St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana before joining NLDAC this March. In this role, she also participated in the development and delivery of educational programs to promote living donation in Indiana and the Midwest. Previously, she worked with patients with bleeding disorders, sickle cell disease, and cancer. We are excited to move NLDAC forward with her experience and perspective, and hope you will join us in welcoming her.
NLDAC is also pleased to continue benefiting from the dedication and knowledge of our original Program Coordinator, Holly Warren, RN, part-time, as she transitions to retirement later this year. Holly has been in transplant for over 30 years, working in organ procurement and as a heart transplant coordinator. She joined NLDAC in 2007 as we prepared to receive our first application, and has been instrumental in navigating every step of NLDAC's growth since. Her enthusiasm and commitment to putting donors first and constantly improving the program have made NLDAC what it is today. We are delighted that she will continue to support NLDAC as Sidni joins us.