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Transplant News E-Letter

Chief's CornerChiefs' Corner

We would like to welcome you to the Transplant News from the Transplant Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

The Transplant Institute is many things to many people. First and foremost, it is where patients seek expert opinions and care. It is also where students, residents, and fellows learn how to care for patients and for many, to prepare for a career in transplant medicine or surgery. It is also where research programs in transplantation biology, clinical trials, and outcomes seek to answer fundamental questions that will improve the longevity of transplanted organs and patients and the quality of life of all transplant recipients. Finally, it is a place where dietitians, nurses, physicians, social workers, surgeons, and a wide array of support staff work together as a team every single day to provide the best possible multidisciplinary care both inside and outside of the hospital for all our patients.
We hope that you enjoy each issue that will come to you either by email ( sign up here) or as a print copy . We are always interested in your feedback and any ideas you might have for the content of our upcoming newsletters. Our best to everyone. 

Transplant Institute News

Transplant News, Volume 1, issue 2, July 2009 ( PDF file 351 KB)
Transplant News, Volume 1, issue 1, January 2009 ( PDF file 417 KB)

Highlights of the Current Transplant News (July 2009)

Chiefs' Corner

There will be some new additions to the Transplant Institute this year. Dr. Amy Evenson will be joining the clinical faculty as a multi-organ transplant surgeon and an Instructor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Michelle Lai will be joining the hepatology staff as an Instructor of Medicine, Dr. Larry Turka will be joining the research faculty as a Visiting Professor of Medicine and Surgery, and Dr. Todd Valerius will be joining the research faculty as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Surgery. ...... See full news letter>>

Team BIDMC Walks for Kidney Disease Kidney Walk 2009

The BIDMC Transplant Institute participated in the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Walk at the Franklin Park Zoo on May 17th, 2009. Shonda Ettienne, our fabulous practice assistant, served as the captain and unofficial cheerleader for Team BIDMC.  Together, our 19 walkers - staff, patients, and family members - raised $3,670 for the National Kidney Foundation (NKF).  At the same time, we all were able to enjoy the amazing animals at this wonderful zoo. ...... See full news letter>>

Transplant Orientation

The remaining kidney transplant orientation classes for 2009 will be held on:
• September 9, 2009, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
• November 19, 2009, 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Topics include dialysis, benefits of transplantation, and live donor kidney transplantation. Call The Transplant Institute at (617) 632-9700 to sign up for the class.

People in the News…

Michael Curry, MD was appointed to the United Network for Organ Sharing Liver and Intestine Transplantation Committee.
Erica Gemellaro, RN received the Certified Clinical Transplant Nurse credential from the American Board of Transplant Certification.
Douglas Hanto, MD, PhD was elected as a Director of the American Board of Surgery...... See full news letter>>

Transplant Pharmacy News Christin Rogers, PharmD, BCPS

Generic anti-rejection medications are now available and you should have received some information from the Transplant Institute about this.  Your pharmacy may start to provide you with generic formulations of Cellcept® or Prograf®. Cellcept® is the manufacturer's name for mycophenolate mofetil and Prograf® is the manufacturer's name for tacrolimus. There are currently 7 different makers of generic Cellcept. Generic formulations of Prograf® are not yet available however, it is expected that they may be available some time after June of 2009...... See full news letter>>

Transplant Support Groups

From learning about your illness to long-term recovery, transplantation can be a complex and an emotionally challenging process. For many patients, support groups are a way to meet others who are going through the same challenges and to learn from those who have already faced them...... See full news letter>>

Staff Profile Michael Curry, MB, MRCPI
Michael Curry, M.D., Medical Director of Liver Transplantation.

Dr. Curry has served as Medical Director of liver transplantation at BIDMC since 2003. He is a highly regarded leader in the evaluation and management of liver disease, as well as in the field of transplantation. He has served on many regional and national committees and advisory boards, and he is highly sought as a speaker throughout the country.  He has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters, and has given many lectures and presentations at professional meetings......
See full news letter>>

Giving the Gift of Life

An interview with Raja, a living kidney donor.......  See full news letter>>

Receiving the Gift of Life

An interview with Raj, a kidney transplant recipient..........  See full news letter>>

Farr 10 News far10 news
Farr 10 is the Transplant Institute's in-patient unit. This acute care unit hosts the kidney, liver, and pancreas transplant patients where our dedicated multidisciplinary team care for complex liver, kidney and  pancreas transplant candidates and recipients on a 24/7 basis. This team is a collection of hard-working, knowledgeable, highly skilled and compassionate nurses and other staff. In honor of International Transplant Nurse Day, which was celebrated in April, Erica Gemellaro, Transplant Unit Based Educator and Norma Wells, Transplant Nurse Manager, hosted a number of staff educational opportunities and appreciation festivities. ..........  See full news letter>>

New Donate Life New England Website Launched

Registering to give the Gift of Life just got a bit easier. In May 2009, with the support of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, a new website was launched that allows New England residents to register online to be an organ and tissue donor at the time of their death. offers residents a way to securely and confidentially register as an organ donor. .........  See full news letter>>

Innovative Liver Research Seth J. Karp, MD

Innovative research is being done in the BIDMC Transplant Institute and the Harvard Medical School that has great importance for patients with liver disease. We have known for years that the liver is able to repair itself to some degree. But it has been difficult to pin down exactly how this happens - until now.

Dr. Karp and his research team are trying to discover new drugs and methods to help the liver do what it already does naturally - repair itself when it's been damaged by liver disease. "Our studies now center on this novel and modifiable signaling pathway that is so critical for liver repair," says Dr. Karp.  "Drugs that affect this pathway can enhance liver repair, which could potentially affect the lives of millions of people with acute and chronic liver disease." .........  See full news letter>>

Transplant Trivia

In each issue of TransplantNews we'll ask a transplant trivia question. From the correct answers submitted by email, we'll randomly select a winner to receive a Donate Life gift. .........  See full news letter>>

Writing to Donor Families

Many transplant recipients choose to write a letter of gratitude to their donor's family. In response, many donor families have said that receiving a personal card or letter from the recipient of their loved one's organs gives them comfort and consolation. .........  See full news letter>>

Reaching Out to Dialysis Clinics

Our kidney transplant team has been "on the road" providing transplant updates and information to dialysis clinics in Massachusetts.  Noelle Dimitri, LICSW, Transplant Social Worker, Louise Riemer, APRN, Dialysis Access Coordinator, and Linda Walsh, RN, Transplant Nurse Coordinator, visit dialysis centers for informal lunch meetings to provide staff with updates in the field of kidney transplantation. .........  See full news letter>>

The "Weight" is Over

Join the Transplant Institute's new weight loss program
Have you been told by your transplant doctor to lose weight? Has it been difficult for you to lose weight? Are you unsure about the most effective strategies to lose weight? Would you like some help from a team of behavioral health and nutritional specialists? Then we have a program for you! .........  See full news letter>>

Just a Click Away

Don't forget to visit our new website at You'll find helpful information about our kidney, liver, and pancreas transplant programs, our comprehensive dialysis access service, our hepatobiliary surgical care, and our internationally recognized research activities. Look for videos of patients who share their personal stories, podcasts on coping with stress, as well as other how-to topics, and illustrations of transplant and living donor surgery.