For over 50 years, Augusta University Health’s Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program has been committed to improving lives, and that work could not have been done without the program’s multi-disciplinary health care team.
From helping with insurance claims to performing surgery, AU Heath’s transplant team is all about supporting patients and donors on their transplant journey. Our medical staff have their own thoughts on how the patients have changed their lives, and these are a few of their stories.
Ada Brownson, fundraising coordinator
“I have been working with the transplant program for almost 12 years; prior to that I worked in dialysis for eight years. Personally experiencing how a transplant can change a person’s life for the better hits close to home. One of my close friend’s daughters unexpectedly passed away, and they made the difficult decision to donate her organs. My friend’s daughter was a nurse and they knew that this was what she would have wanted. This family displayed so much strength in a moment of tragedy and they received closure knowing their daughter’s organs helped someone else live. Stories like this touch my heart deeply, and I am honored to be a part of how stories of our patients’ transplants make positive differences in donors’ and recipients’ families.”
Debra Hartshorn, social worker
“For someone to get a transplant, something bad has to usually happen. AU Health recognizes the generosity of donor families who have saved the lives of countless children, men and women. Not only is the recipient’s life changed, but the families of our donors are also altered. So, as a way to offer our greatest thanks, we provide grief resources and other educational material to help these individuals move forward.”
Shelby Adams, living donor coordinator
“I’ve worked in the transplant center for two years, and every patient has a story that touched my life. I count it a privilege to walk with them through their journey of waiting for a transplant and then seeing the joy in their eyes when they’re finally matched. In fact, I like to consider the day of surgery as my payday because now the patient can have another chance at living a healthy life.”
Rebecca Bold, financial and resource specialist
“One of my patient’s insurance companies was not able to pay for her treatment, and she was distraught on how this would affect the care she received. Her doctor and I worked tirelessly to get her on the Affordable Health Plan and she was able to get the medication she needed. I enjoy helping patients and donors find financial solutions because they should not have to dwell on how they will pay for medicine and treatment.”
Gloria Taylor, social worker
“I guess you can say that I’ve seen just about every aspect of a transplant patient’s life because I worked 12 years in dialysis at the Medical College of Georgia and now 15 years in the transplant center. I work mostly with post-transplant patients and I enjoy hearing their stories about their new-found life. To see their new life unfold touches my heart and I get to see that ripple effect on their family. I just love how transplants give patients the opportunity for a longer and healthier life.”
Since 1968, AU Health’s Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program has conducted over 2,600 transplants and continues being a nationwide leader in transplantation care. On Sept. 29, the medical center will hold a 50th Anniversary Celebration for the program giving patients, donors and staff an opportunity to meet and share their stories. For more information about this event or the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program, call 706-721-2888.
About AU Health’s Transplant Program
Augusta University Health is home to the 14,000-square-foot Carlos and Marguerite Mason Solid Organ Transplant Center, and over 2,600 lifesaving kidney and pancreas transplants have been performed at the medical center since 1968. AU Health is one of 19 hospitals in the United States and the only medical center in Georgia, to be selected to take part in the initial Collaborative Innovation and Improvement Network that aims to improve kidney transplantation nationwide. AU Health is also a two-time national Kidney Transplant Center of Excellence.