Schlendorf named adult heart transplant medical directorFeb. 15, 2018, 10:34 AM
Kelly Schlendorf, MD, MHS, assistant professor of Medicine, has been named medical director of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s (VUMC) Adult Heart Transplant Program.
Schlendorf has served as the associate medical director since 2016 and succeeds Mark Wigger, MD, assistant professor of Medicine.
“I am honored and humbled to be following in Mark’s footsteps,” Schlendorf said. “I look forward to working with surgical leadership and others to help ensure that our program continues to thrive.”
VUMC performed a record number of heart transplants in 2017, securing its place as the second-busiest heart transplant program in the country.
The program has consistently ranked No. 1 in the Southeast region for volume for its combined adult and pediatric procedures.
“As one of the busiest programs in the country we are in a position to lead the field in asking and answering questions that may help to advance the science of transplant,” said Schlendorf, who is interested in the use of hepatitis C-exposed donors as a means of potentially expanding the donor pool.
Since the fall of 2016, the program has transplanted 31 patients using hepatitis C-positive donors with promising results.
As medical director Schlendorf emphasized the importance of her team.
“The success of this program doesn’t depend on any one person, but rather a large team of dedicated individuals — nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers, pharmacists, administrative assistants and my physician colleagues — who are really talented and very committed to caring for this vulnerable patient population.”
Schlendorf joined Vanderbilt in 2012. She graduated cum laude from Duke University in 1999 and summa cum laude from Emory University School of Medicine in 2005. She completed her residency and fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 2011 she earned her Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and completed her post-doctoral fellowship in advanced heart failure and transplantation at Duke University Medical Center in 2012.
“My colleagues and I are thrilled that Dr. Schlendorf has accepted the medical director role of the heart transplant program,” said Thomas Wang, MD, Gottlieb C. Friesinger II Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.
“We’re indebted to Dr. Wigger for his enormous contributions toward making Vanderbilt one of the most highly regarded heart transplant programs in the country, and we’re very fortunate that the program will continue to be in good hands with Dr. Schlendorf’s leadership.”