Veterans in need of liver and/or kidney transplant to benefit from expertise of region’s leading transplant program
WASHINGTON – Veterans across the country who are in need of a life-saving liver or kidney transplant now can receive these procedures at one of the top transplant centers in the nation, MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute, thanks to the recent inclusion of the MedStar Health program in the Veterans Health Administration network. The newly established relationship expands veterans’ access to a top ten transplant center in the nation allowing them to receive lifesaving care at one of the most experienced transplant programs in the country. The new DC- VA relationship, based in the National Capital Region (VISN 5), operates under the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) National Transplant network, which has offered solid organ transplant services including kidney, liver, heart, lung, kidney/pancreas, and heart/lung since 1962. This new DC VA Medical Center partnership with MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute establishes MGTI as one of only five VHA transplant centers in the country to offer both liver and kidney transplant.
Solid organ transplant surgery may be an option for veterans experiencing end-stage liver disease or kidney failure resulting from a variety of conditions for which transplant is the only available option for treatment and long-term survival. The collaborative program allows veterans to continue receiving much of their care pre- and post-operatively at the VA, with ongoing consultation – and ultimately the transplant procedure itself – taking place at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital utilizing the national expertise and latest surgical techniques. The program is a creation and collaboration among liver and kidney specialists from both organizations.
According to DC VA Medical Center Director Michael S. Heimall, FACHE, “The approval of the new DC VA Transplant Program demonstrates the VA’s commitment to establish and broaden medical affiliations which allow VA to expand quality services, providing life-changing care for veterans when and where they need it.”
The DC VA-MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute alliance is designed to provide leading-edge consultative services, treatment, and surgical intervention to eligible veterans currently enrolled for VA care who have a broad spectrum of conditions leading to a need for transplant. By broadening the medical center’s partnership with MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute, care is open to veterans living anywhere in the U.S.
“We are proud to provide life-saving liver and kidney transplants to our country’s veterans who need this specialized and complex care,” said Michael Sachtleben, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Washington Region, MedStar Health. “Our veterans will benefit from our 55 years of transplant experience, which has resulted in unmatched expertise, world-class compassionate care, and life-changing outcomes.”
Charles Faselis, MD, Chief of Staff at the DC VA Medical Center says, “The partnership allows the multidisciplinary transplant team to carefully coordinate and manage world-class care for veterans while the highly skilled experts at the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute perform the life-saving procedures utilizing the latest surgical techniques and technologies.”
“Patients with organ failure are among the most vulnerable populations, so life-saving transplants are critical. Through this partnership, MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute is proud to care for our veterans,” said Thomas Fishbein, MD, executive director of the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute. “Our team stands ready to provide the region’s veterans with timely, expert transplant care locally so that they do not have to travel outside the area.”
Atoosa Rabiee, MD, Chief of transplant services at the DC VA Medical Center, oversees the VA team and program operations which includes coordinating consultation for patients with advancing liver failure, collaborating during the transplant procedure, and arranging postoperative care, which may include a comfortable stay at the Fisher House for eligible veterans and their family members. Dr. Rabiee recognizes the MedStar Georgetown partnership as “a unique opportunity to utilize local collaborations to deliver safe, quality care to veteran patients while keeping them close to their family and community.”