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Transplant Center opening clinic in Alabama

Jan. 27, 2016, 2:43 PM

The Vanderbilt Transplant Center (VTC) is expanding its footprint into Alabama with the opening of a satellite pre-transplant evaluation clinic for kidney patients.

With ever-increasing demand, the Kidney Transplant program offers a monthly clinic with the potential for a twice monthly schedule at the site in Madison, Alabama, near Huntsville.
It is the first outreach clinic for VTC.

“We are testing new ground here,” said Beatrice Concepcion, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine and the medical director for the new satellite clinic.

“We are very interested in providing better services for our patients and improving access,” she said. “And so far, we have received nothing but positive feedback from our patients. They are thrilled to have this option.”

The clinic, which is located in the Madison Hospital, an affiliate of Huntsville Hospital Health Systems, opened in December. Nearly 100 patients are expected to come through the site this year.

According to Amanda Lyles, R.N., the full-service clinic provides standard pre-transplant evaluations, which include chest X-rays, EKGs, CTs, lab work, social work assessments, patient education and examinations.

Currently two physicians — a nephrologist, Concepcion, and a surgeon, Seth Karp, M.D., H. William Scott Jr. Professor and chair of the Department of Surgery — see patients. Administrators are in the process of hiring a social worker.

“Our goal is to ultimately increase the number of kidney transplants and, more specifically, the number of living donor transplants,” said Lyles, kidney outreach coordinator. “We have a large patient population in that area and wanted to remove as many barriers or obstacles to their care as possible.”

The clinic is the vision of Karp, who served as the director of the Transplant Center prior to being named chair of Vanderbilt’s Department of Surgery. Discussions to expand the clinic to incorporate other transplant programs are part of future plans.

Douglas Hanto, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Vanderbilt Transplant Center, said he is committed to growing programs in a way that maximizes quality and overall patient care.

“The clinic will decrease the travel time and expense for patients in Alabama who want to come to Vanderbilt for their kidney transplant,” said Hanto, professor of Surgery. “Opening this location will also allow patients to be more conveniently followed while on the waiting list.”

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