I started my transplant career as a nurse caring for kidney transplant patients at the University of Chicago in 1977. I joined Dr. Frank Stuart, Director of the kidney transplant program at University of Chicago, as a transplant coordinator from 1978–1982. During that time I orchestrated all the events that culminated in organ donation and kidney transplantation. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity of actively working in every aspect of the entire transplant process:
- Educating donor hospitals on the donation process
- Speaking with the donor families and securing consent for the recovery of their loved one’s organs. (Hardest part of my job)
- Coordinating the recovery of organs and tissues in the operating room.
- Working patients up for a kidney transplant, listing them, maintaining the waitlist and calling them in for a kidney when one became available (My favorite part of the job).
- Caring for the patients immediately post transplant and throughout their post clinic course.
My time working closely with Dr. Stuart and his team at the University of Chicago created a passion for transplantation that is part of my DNA to this day. In 1982 I was invited to speak at an international conference in Belgium about the role of the transplant coordinator in the United States. I traveled to China on a medical delegation in 1984, representing the transplant specialty. I have also utilized my transplant expertise working for Payers and the Pharmaceutical industry.
I was one of the leaders who established the North American Transplant Organization (NATCO). As president of NATCO in 1983-84 I was summoned to Washington DC to represent my transplant constituents and educate politicians about the organ donation and distribution process. In partnership with the other transplant leadership, a national transplant bill was passed and realized funding within one year. The Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN) was established to ensure equitable distribution of organs throughout the United States. The United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) was established to oversee this important charge. UNOS is still actively monitoring all transplants in the United States. I currently Chair the UNOS Transplant Administrators Committee.
In July of 2014 I retired from UCSF as the Director of Clinical operations for all solid organ transplants. UCSF performs over 600 transplants annually and is one of the most well respected transplant programs in the world.
My true passion and love for transplantation is now finding an outlet in the transplant murder mystery trilogy I’m writing.
For more information about my career feel free to review my CV which is located on this website. There was an editorial written about my transplant career in Progress in Transplantation in 2013. This is also available for review on this website.