Many people are involved in the transplant process, all with the common goal of ensuring a successful transplant. They also look to patients to take an active part in their own health care to assure the best possible result. Listed below are members of the Mercy Transplant Team and their roles:
Cass Franklin, M.D.
The transplant surgeon evaluates all potential recipients and performs the actual transplant operation. Patients see the transplant surgeon during hospitalization, as well as at follow-up visits after surgery. Along with the nephrologist, the transplant surgeon will check test results and adjust medication.
Johan Aerts, D.O.
The transplant surgeon also evaluates potential living donors and performs the actual kidney removal surgery. The living donor will see the donor transplant surgeon during their hospitalization following donation, as well as at follow-up visits.
Associates in Kidney Care, Iowa Kidney Physicians or Nephrology, PC
The nephrologist most often is the first person to refer a patient to the transplant program and is responsible for care in the hospital before and after surgery. The nephrologist examines patients, checks test results and makes adjustments to medications and treatment as needed. In most cases, the nephrologist continues to monitor patient progress after discharge from the hospital.
Pre-and post transplant coordinators are registered nurses who work closely with patients before, during and after hospitalization. They oversee the evaluation process and assist with scheduling pre-transplant test scheduling. A coordinator also follows the patient through hospitalization and provides discharge instructions. After leaving the hospital, coordinators monitor laboratory test results and immunosuppressive medication doses.
Transplant Medical Social Worker
The social worker is a state-licensed clinical social worker who assists transplant patients and their families to maintain and/or enhance quality of life. This involves providing counseling, education, use of community resources and addressing medical financial needs through the benefits of government and commercial health coverage as well as private and nonprofit financial resources.
Transplant Financial Coordinator
The financial coordinator assists and determines the financial eligibility of the patient for a transplant and provides the patient with information on their personal financial responsibility.
Dietitians evaluate the dietary needs of the transplant patient, providing education on proper diet and nutrition both pre- and post-transplant.