university hExpanded Transplant Program Reaches More Patients

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University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina Inc., a mission-driven, not-for-profit corporation, owns, leases or has a majority membership interest in seven eastern North Carolina hospitals and has a management agreement with one other. UHS includes Albemarle Health, Bertie Memorial Hospital, Chowan Hospital, Duplin General Hospital, Heritage Hospital, Outer Banks Hospital, Pitt County Memorial Hospital, Roanoke-Chowan Hospital, University Home Health and Hospice; ViQuest and physician practices, and is affiliated with the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. On the web at www.uhseast.com.

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Transplants continue at a brisk pace in 2011. ECU surgeons have performed 23 through the first three months of the year.

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Driving the growth in the PCMH-ECU transplant program was the addition of Dr. Robert Harland and Dr. Jason Rolls to the ECU culty. Harland joined ECU as professor of surgery and chief of surgical immunology and transplantation. He was previously an associate professor and director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program at the University of Chicago School of Medicine. Harland completed residency training in internal medicine, general surgery and a fellowship in transplant surgery at Duke. He has also been on the medical culty at Duke, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Massachusetts.

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More than 2,800 people are on dialysis in the 29-county area served by University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, according to the North Carolina Division of Health Service Research.

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We are proud of the growth weve seen over the last year, said Carrie Simpkins, PCMH transplant program administrator. Kidney disease is a serious health issue in eastern North Carolina, and we are committed to serving those cing this illness.

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PCMH and ECU deepened their commitment to kidney transplants in 2010, adding surgeons and support staff.

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The average length of time between joining the PCMH/ECU waiting list and transplant is 39 months, a vast improvement,

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In eastern North Carolina, that new lease is available to more patients, thanks to expansion of the kidney transplant program at Pitt County Memorial Hospital and the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

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The success of our revitalized transplant program is representative of the mission and commitment UHS and ECU share in addressing the health care needs of our community, said Sanjay Saha, senior vice president for hospital operations at PCMH. Credit goes entirely to our physicians and staff, who have worked so hard to make this life-saving service even more accessible to the residents of eastern North Carolina.

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For people living with kidney ilure, a transplant is the surest path back to a normal life, Harland said. We want to get these patients back to working, playing, traveling and leading the lives they want to lead.

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Rolls joined ECU as a clinical assistant professor of surgery. He came to ECU from Columbia University, where he completed a fellowship in abdominal organ transplantation. Rolls completed residency training at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Cornell Medical Center. He also completed a fellowship on the Weill Cornell Burn Unit at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

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Harland and Rolls joined Dr. Carl Haisch, professor of surgery and director of surgical immunology and transplantation at the Brody School of Medicine. He joined the ECU culty in 1992.

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The transplant programs expansion has yielded other benefits for patients. After referral, it now takes patients an average of 13 months to appear on the kidney waiting list at ECU. That figure is half what it was before 2010, Simpkins said.

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Transplant surgeons at PCMH and ECU performed 72 transplants in 2010, up from 38 in 2009.

according to Harland.

The program also moved its patient care area to a new, modern cility on Moye Boulevard. Patient appointments, examinations and meetings previously occurred in a wing of the Brody School of Medicine.

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PRLog (Press Release) – Apr 05, 2011 – GREENVILLE, N.C. — For people with end-stage kidney disease, a new kidney can mean a new lease on life.

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