Newark, NJ -- In response to an ever-increasing need for kidney and pancreas transplant surgeries, the Saint Barnabas Health Care System Renal and Pancreas Transplant Division recently created the Transplant Surgery Department at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Saint Barnabas Medical Center.
Joining the Transplant Surgery Department are surgeons Stuart R. Geffner, MD, and Marc E. Uknis, MD, FACS, who will specialize in renal and pancreas transplantation, dialysis access, as well as general and advanced laparoscopic surgery. Already one the most active transplant programs in the county, their addition will allow the Division to offer new, more innovative programs in living donation, pediatric transplantation as well as pancreas transplantation.
With the addition of Drs. Geffner and Uknis, our Transplant Team is now poised to advance our Living Donor Program into a paired exchange program, thus increasing the likelihood that a potential kidney transplant recipient receives a kidney from a living donor, explains Shamkant Mulgaonkar, MD, Chief of the Renal and Pancreas Transplant Division for Saint Barnabas Health Care System.
Additional benefits include advances in research, aid in organ procurement and a better integration of the Division's two transplant programs at Saint Barnabas and Newark Beth Israel Medical Centers, which together perform close to 250 transplants a year -- more than any other facility in New Jersey, New York, Boston or Philadelphia.
"I am excited that the transition of our transplant surgeons from private practice to a Saint Barnabas Health Care System based Transplant Surgery Department will be an invaluable step for our patients who will continue to receive state-of-the-art care and treatment," said Dr. Mulgaonkar.
Dr. Geffner, Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation for Saint Barnabas Health Care System, has been responsible for building the Saint Barnabas kidney transplant program into one of the 10 largest kidney and pancreas transplant centers in the United States. His expertise in transplant surgery has led him to achieve several medical "firsts" in New Jersey, including transplantation of the youngest and smallest child and the first isolated pancreas transplant.
He plays an active role in the community by serving on the Medical Advisory Committee of The New Jersey Organ and Tissue Sharing Network. And, he is involved with "Live from Kidney Transplant," a series of live video telecasts of transplant surgery to high school students by Liberty Science Center. He was recently presented with the 2005 National Medical Award for Excellence in Transplantation by the Kidney and Urology Foundation of America, Inc.
Prior to joining Saint Barnabas this Fall as Associate Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation, Dr. Uknis served as Assistant Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and was a staff transplant and trauma surgeon at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Children's Hospital, Boston.
"I am pleased to be a member of this progressive surgical team," remarks Dr. Uknis. "I joined Saint Barnabas because of its commitment to quality patient care and expertise in both kidney and pancreas transplantation."
Most recently, Dr. Uknis was Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation and Associate Professor of Surgery, Molecular Genetics & Microbiology at The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMass). Respected internationally, Dr. Uknis is the principle investigator of clinical research trials and is conducting ongoing basic science research in preventing complications of diabetes through transplantation. Dr. Uknis built successful pancreas transplant programs at Harvard and UMass with more than 80 percent of the patients remaining insulin-free long term. He intends to build on this experience at Saint Barnabas and looks forward to offering this life-altering surgery to the region's diabetic patients.
Both surgeons will be located at Newark Beth Israel and Saint Barnabas Medical Centers through Associates in Transplant and General Surgery and can be contacted at 973-322-9801.
Date: December 13, 2005
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