Family-Centered Unit Caters to Patients From Long Distances
(Washington, DC) Children who receive organ transplants at Georgetown University Hospital and their parents will now receive their care in a new unit that is the only one of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic region. The new two million dollar, 15-bed, all private unit officially opened its doors with a ribbon cutting ceremony July 28 in an event attended by members of the Georgetown transplant team as well as children who received transplants at the hospital in the past. The Georgetown Transplant Center for Children has a mission to care for the whole child, including the social needs of the entire family, many of whom travel from out of our region or from outside of the United States. The transplant program is a joint partnership with the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC.
The new unit at Georgetown centers around a beach theme which is intended to feel relaxing yet fun for the children and their parents.
Thomas Fishbein, MD, director, Intestinal and Pediatric Liver Transplantation said, "Comfort was the driving force behind this new unit, one in which a parent or caregiver can live in with a child during the extended stays often required while they receive care here."
Ten-year-old Joseph Ginese of Fishkill, New York was the first child at Georgetown, in December 2003, to receive a small bowel transplant. At the time his parents did a lot of traveling back and forth to the hospital. "The new unit is beautiful," said Erin Ginese Joseph's mother. "I wish this had existed when we were here, but I know the families who come here from now on are really going to appreciate all the thought that went into this new unit. The beds in the rooms, the showers, everything."
Twenty-four year old Jamie Cocke of Richmond, Virginia received a four-organ transplant at Georgetown in 2005. "I really like what they have done with this unit. I think it's going to be very important for the kids and their parents," said Jamie.
The pediatric transplant program at Georgetown has grown rapidly since 2003 when Dr. Fishbein and Medical Director Stuart Kaufman, MD started the program to include liver, small bowel and multivisceral (multi-organ) transplants. Dr. Fishbein said, "Our mission was to create top quality programs for liver and intestinal transplantation in children. Intestinal and multivisceral and pediatric liver transplants are the most complex and difficult transplants to perform successfully. They require sophisticated surgical care and highly complex medical management. In five years the program has grown thanks to the commitment of resources, and the hard work of personnel including the nurses, doctors, nutritionists and social workers caring for these young patients," Dr. Fishbein said.
The pediatric liver transplant program, performing whole organ, live donor as well as split liver transplants has achieved among the best survival rates in the United States.
Georgetown University Hospital President Joy Drass, MD, said, " This program and this unit are so important to the community and to the region. The expertise of the transplant team and the comforts of this unit really exemplify the Georgetown mission of cura personalis, caring for the whole person."
"The intestinal transplant program at Georgetown had the third largest volume in North America last year and also has one of the most experienced and successful teams in the world. It is one of only seven centers receiving CMS (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services) certification, and one of only five that meet criteria set forth by American Society of Transplant Surgeons to train surgeons in this field. With an editor's news feature in Nature covering our research this past May, and our clinical successes, Georgetown University Hospital has, in five years, become the place one thinks of for small bowel transplantation. Teams from three other continents have sent surgeons, pathologists and GI specialists here to learn the 'Georgetown way.' I am very proud of that," Dr. Fishbein said.
Media Contact: Marianne Worley
Patient Contact: 202-342-2400