AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Carlos and Marguerite Mason Trust has awarded Augusta University $1,453,312 to help fund the construction of a $4.1 million consolidated and expanded kidney transplant center at AU Medical Center. The multidisciplinary center will double the capacity for transplant evaluations and ongoing care, essentially paving the way for more patients to receive life-saving organs.
The new 14,000-square-foot center will be located on the third floor of Professional Building 1, adjacent to the medical center, in order to accommodate clinical needs, consultations, lab services, an infusion room, a medication assistance program and an education library all under one roof. Professional Building 1, which also houses the hospital’s Digestive Health Center, is owned by the Board of Regents and leased by the medical center. The BOR approved the transplant project at its January meeting.
In recognition of the donation and the trust’s commitment to supporting organ transplantation for more than two decades at the academic health center, the new clinic will be named the Carlos and Marguerite Mason Trust Transplant Center.
“This is a remarkably generous gift that will benefit thousands of patients and families. This renovation will greatly improve the patient experience by merging into one setting the many services that transplant patients require instead of them having to navigate different appointments in multiple buildings and offices across the health sciences campus,” said Dr. Carlos Zayas, assistant program director and medical director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program.
“Transplant patients are already facing extraordinary challenges, and we want to remove as much stress and anxiety as we can by making their clinic experience less cumbersome. The Mason Trust gift will help us do that,” said Dr. Todd Merchen, Mason Distinguished Chair in Transplant Surgery and Immunology and program director and surgical director of the transplant program.
Augusta University Medical Center is the only Georgia hospital and one of just 20 nationwide to be named a Kidney Transplant Center of Excellence by HealthGrades, a hospital ratings organization.
Nearly 2,500 life-saving kidney and pancreas transplants have been performed at the medical center since the program began in 1968. Augusta University offers novel approaches to kidney transplants, including paired, altruistic, and chain donations in order to help find matching donors for the more than 16,000 patients who are on the waiting list in the geographic region that includes Georgia.
The Mason Trust also has awarded Augusta University a $1 million research grant to support translational studies in organ rejection prevention.
Marguerite Fugazzi Mason died in January 1991, leaving the bulk of her estate to the Carlos and Marguerite Mason Trust. The purpose of the trust, created in memory of her husband, Carlos Mason, is to help ensure access to care for all Georgians in need of kidney transplantation.