(University of Maryland Shore Regional Health)
Trish Rosenberry, regional director, UM Shore Regional Health Specialty Clinics, recently hosted a visit from representatives of the International Transplant Nursing Society (ITNS) at the Multispecialty Clinic in the Freeman Outpatient Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton.
The International Transplant Nurses Society (ITNS) promotes the education and clinical practice excellence of nurses who are involved in the care of solid organ transplant patients. A leading respected transplant organization with active members worldwide, ITNS offers nurses a forum for learning about the latest advances in transplantation and transplant patient care.
According to Rosenberry, who is president emeritus of the local Greater Chesapeake Chapter of ITNS, the honored guest at the meeting was Yaprak Ordin, PhD, MD, RN, a faculty member at Dokuz Eylul University in Izmir, Turkey and a clinician in the liver transplant clinic at Dokuz Eylul University Hospital. Dr. Ordin has been involved in a variety of activities to advance transplant nursing in Turkey and was traveling to different sites in the U.S. as part of a post-doctoral study on how hospitals in rural communities meet the needs of transplant patients. During her time in the states, she visited the National Institutes of Health, Kaiser Permanente and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as well as the Transplant Clinic at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton.
During her visit to the Transplant Clinic at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton, Dr. Ordin was accompanied by Penny Keaney, ITNS president and transplant coordinator at Kaiser Permanente in Rockville, Maryland; Laura Taylor, president elect, ITNS, and professor Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner Program, Uniformed Services University; Sandra Cupples, president emeritus, ITNS, and national director, Clinical Services, U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Joining Rosenberry at the meeting were UM SRH transplant coordinators Wendy Greenwood, RN, Karen Davies, RN, and Debora Evans, RN.
“Our meeting included a fascinating exchange of information,” Rosenberry says. “For example, in Turkey, 75 percent of the kidney transplants are from living donors, and in the United States this number is closer to 35 percent. Another interesting fact shared was that the Turkish government pays for all health care needs for patients with kidney disease and cancer. So transplants and follow-up care including medications are completely covered.”
The Transplant Clinic at UM Shore Regional Health evaluates patients for kidney and/or pancreas transplantation 16 times a year. The clinical team case manages about 150 patients at any given point in time, and the average number of transplanted organs is 30 per year. As Rosenberry explains, “We provide care for patients in the pre-transplant phase, as well as see patients with the surgeon post-transplant. Our team also travels four times a year to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury to expand access to care for pre-transplant workup.”