UCSF Celebrates Second Annual TransplantNurses Day

UCSF's transplant nurses recently enjoyed an afternoon reception in recognition of and appreciation for their dedication and contributions to caring for a special group of patients -- organ recipients and living donors. The Second Annual Transplant Nurses Day on April 18 drew a large crowd of solid organ transplant nurses, who work hard to ensure UCSF's transplant patient population receives the best possible care. Solid organs include the kidneys, liver, pancreas, heart and lungs. "This is a welcome opportunity to recognize the nursing professionals who help patients, living donors and their families through the difficult periods leading up to, during and following transplantation," said Mark Laret, chief executive officer of UCSF Medical Center. "Their dedication and superior skills are deeply valued by this institution." Laret was joined in the Millberry Union by numerous UCSF faculty and staff including administrators, transplant surgeons, physicians and analysts in honoring the nurses on their special day. A Success Story During the reception, John Roberts, MD, chief of the UCSF Transplant Service, addressed a packed room of nurses and their supporters, thanking them for their service. He highlighted some of the remarkable milestones of the transplant program, and attributed its excellent reputation and success to the collaborative work of all staff involved in transplantation. "Our success is truly a team effort and nurses are an integral part of that effort," Roberts said.

Transplant nurses received recognition at the Second Annual Transplant Nurses Day at UCSF on April 18.

The first worldwide observance of Transplant Nurses Day was established last year by the International Transplant Nurses Society (ITNS) to encourage transplant programs and transplant units to recognize the efforts of transplant nurses. Now in its second year, the day is gaining popularity, especially in the United States. The society is the first professional nursing organization to promote the education and clinical practice excellence of nurses caring for solid organ transplant patients. Melissa Danko, RN, kidney transplant coordinator and member of ITNS, helped to spearhead the reception at UCSF. Guests dined on small sandwiches, fresh fruit, pastries, chocolates and cookies while sharing stories and memories with one another. It was a welcome break for the 180 nurses who provide patients with around-the-clock medical care, emotional support, encouragement and love. The reception was sponsored by UCSF's heart and lung, liver, kidney and pancreas transplant services. "It is great to receive the recognition," said nurse Agatha Ekeh. "But for me, the real reward is seeing former patients return healthy and full of life, living their lives to the fullest. That makes the hard work worthwhile." UCSF's Transplant Service The Organ Transplant Service at UCSF Medical Center is one of the largest and most highly regarded in the world. Over the years, it has grown to include kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas and intestinal transplantation services.

The first world-wide observance of Transplant Nurses Day was established last year to encourage recognition of the efforts of transplant nurses.

UCSF Medical Center is home to the first kidney, pancreas and liver transplant programs in Northern California. The kidney transplant program is among the largest in the world, with more than 7,500 transplants for children and adults performed since its inception in 1964. The liver transplant program is ranked among the top five in the nation and is known for its high rate of success with seriously ill patients. UCSF is a leader in living-donor liver transplants for children and adults, and in pancreas transplants to treat type 1 diabetes. Established in 1989, UCSF's heart and lung transplantation program provides state-of-the-art surgical therapy and drives the search for ways to overcome the scarcity of donated organs. UCSF performs more lung transplants for end-stage diseases -- such as primary pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary fibrosis -- than any other institution in Northern California. The heart and lung transplant program is at the forefront of transplantation research and is most notable for working with patients who are often not considered candidates for transplantation at other institutions. It has tripled in size in the past four years. Related Links: "The Wait for Life" Highlights Organ Sharing Debate, with UCSF's Liver Transplant Service at the Center
UCSF Today, Sept. 29, 2006 "The Wait for Life"
California Connected Organ Transplant
UCSF Medical Center Donate Life California