May 27, 2005

VUMC transplant, liver papers garner accolades

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Jay Groves

VUMC transplant, liver papers garner accolades

The Division of Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center took high honors during the Congress of the American HepatoPancreatoBiliary Association last month.

The organization presented a platform where participants discussed continued advancements in the treatment of liver, pancreas and biliary diseases as well as interventional radiology and liver anesthesiology. Attendance was the largest in the group's history, with nearly 700 attendees at the meeting and 3,000 for the entire week.

C. Wright Pinson, M.D., H. William Scott Professor of Surgery, associate vice chancellor for Clinical Affairs and chief medical officer, gave the presidential address “A Decade of Accomplishment; A Platform for the Future.”

A plenary session and young investigators competition saw Clayton Knox, a fourth-year Vanderbilt University School of Medicine student, take the show with the AHPBA Young Investigator Research Award for best paper.

“We are very proud of Clayton,” said Ravi Chari, M.D., chief of the Division of Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation. “This is one of several national awards he has won for his research.”

This year's conference was held in conjunction with the American College of Surgeons and the Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) in an effort to explore common themes among the groups, specifically in reference to minimally invasive procedures.

In other transplant-related news, the Vanderbilt Transplant Center had the most abstracts presented at a recent Organ Procurement and Transplant Network/United Network for Organ Sharing (OPTN/UNOS) Management Forum, with a total of eight papers, two of which won top awards.

Abstracts from Liver Transplant, Lung Transplant, Kidney/Pancreas Transplant, Transplant Psychiatric Program, Return-To-Work program, Transplant Outcomes Program and Quantitative Services, Transplant Administration and the Pharmacy Program were submitted.

“The sampling of abstracts submitted by Vanderbilt signifies the multidisciplinary specialty of the Transplant Center,” said Pinson. “We continuously build on our reputation as a leader in transplant clinical care, clinical and economic outcomes research and innovative programs.”

The best abstract in the revenue management category went to Edward Zavala, administrator, Vanderbilt Transplant Center, while Melinda Stahley, senior data manager, garnered top honors in the transplant administration category.

“It is wonderful that so many of our personnel participated in this program,” said Pinson. “Their collective efforts have reflected very well on the Transplant Center.”

Award-winner Zavala agreed.

“The depth of the transplant professionals in the Transplant Center is truly remarkable. To have such an array of transplant topics presented by Vanderbilt at a single meeting is something we can all take pride in.”