Transplant Program: A Shining Achievement for Methodist Health System

By Tracy Giacoma, MSN, MBA, RN, FACHE
Vice President, Transplant Services, Methodist Dallas Medical Center

What do I love most about my job as vice president of transplant services for Methodist Dallas Medical Center? I witness miracles every day. I am able to see critically ill patients improve and leave the hospital with a new lease on life. And I am privileged to work with the dedicated team of medical professionals who can change peoples’ lives forever.

I have worked in the transplant field for more than 30 years, serving as a transplant administrator for 24 of those years. I started my career as a nurse and absolutely loved the educational aspect of my job — helping patients recover their well-being. I like learning new things, and transplant services has offered me many opportunities to grow professionally as innovations are introduced, new techniques are developed, and new drug therapies are implemented.

One of the reasons I chose nursing as a career was the opportunity to develop lifelong relationships with patients, following their progress for the rest of their lives. We work to personally connect with each patient and his or her family members. We stress communication throughout every step of the patient’s journey with us. And patients and their families are introduced to the entire team — physicians, nurses, dietitians, social workers, financial coordinators, and others — early in the process.

We celebrate personal successes with our patients and families. The best part of our work is when we are able to call a patient who is on the list and tell him or her that an organ is available. What is more amazing than telling patients that they have been given another chance at living normal lives.

We also take time to celebrate our successes of our transplant program at Methodist Dallas. Over the 30 years that our program has been in existence, we have saved nearly 3,000 lives by providing transplanted organs. We began as a kidney transplant program, but today we provide comprehensive organ transplantations including kidney, kidney-pancreas, liver, pancreas, and liver-kidney. Our success rates consistently exceed national averages, and our program’s reputation draws patients from around the world. In fact, we have two offices in Puerto Rico.

Our transplant program proudly boasts a number of significant milestones:
• World’s first combined heart-kidney-pancreas transplant
• First DFW-area kidney transplant on an HIV-positive patient
• First bioartificial liver support for acute alcoholic hepatitis using ELAD
• Participation in the largest landmark hepatitis C clinical trial
• 47 current clinical trials in liver, kidney, and pancreatic disease.

Methodist Dallas has offered transplant services for many years — 30 for kidney and 10 for liver. We have a technologically advanced transplant unit with a specially selected and trained core of transplant nurses — offering them many career opportunities. In fact, most of our nurses start in the ICU and then become transplant coordinators or navigators. The opportunities are plentiful, as are the rewards.

If you’re ready to transform your career by joining a team that’s dedicated to changing patients’ lives, then choose Methodist Health System. Learn more by visiting Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.

© Methodist Health System

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