UT Southwestern Medical School
Chief, Transplant Cardiology, MCS and Advanced Heart Failure at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas
Too many to count!!! My greatest project to date is leading the national trial for the use of HCV NAT+ heart donors for NAT- recipients. This began with an AST sponsored work group which gathered professionals across all fields who came together, analyzed the data, and produced recommendations on this future practice. That is the power of the AST - its ability to gather together many areas that affect transplant medicine to affect change.
What made you decide to work in transplantation?:
I was preparing to shine in Pediatrics and thus organized to do adult medicine first rotation of third year in Med School. I got exposed to cardiology and then, eventually, cardiac transplant with my mentor, Clyde Yancy, and the rest is history.
I initially joined AST as a reflex - it was a transplant organization and thus I felt I should join – but did not, at first, engage with the organization as it seemed very abdominal concentrated. However, as I have become more mature in my practice and the leader of my program for over a decade, I became fascinated with the differences and similarities not only among each cardiac transplant program across the country, but also among the solid organ programs in my own institution.
This led to a renewed interest in AST and my current passion for crossing the diaphragmatic barrier to learn from each other in a more organized and integrated way. I truly believe that the silo nature of our specialty has resulted in slower discoveries than necessary. I thus began reading the journals, going to the website and attending AST meetings, starting with CEoT. I became a member of the Thoracic and Critical Care COP and with Dr Kobashigawa's mentorship, have jumped fully into the organization. I am dedicated to increasing the involvement of my cardiac transplant colleagues and interfacing with our abdominal brethren to advance transplant medicine as a whole. This commitment has been solidified with my involvement in several projects that involve both cardiac and abdominal expertise.
What do you find to be the most valuable aspect of your work?:
I can be a specialist and still take care of the whole patient. In transplant medicine, we are a little bit nephrologist, infectious disease, GI, oncology, etc. This gives me the amazing opportunity to really know my patients well and consider all aspects of their care.