Atlanta, Ga. (February X, 2013) – Piedmont Healthcare is collaborating with the Mercer University School of Medicine and its clinical component, Mercer Medicine, to open a Piedmont Transplant Institute satellite clinic in Macon, Ga. Scheduled to open in April, the clinic will be located in the Mercer Medicine Internal Medicine Clinic at 707 Pine Street in Macon.
The new clinic will provide pre- and post-transplant care for patients receiving kidney transplants. The joint effort between Mercer and Piedmont will bring kidney transplant services closer to home for Bibb county and surrounding area residents.
“Our partnership with Mercer University allows us to offer better access to transplant care in central Georgia,” said Mark Johnson, M.D., transplant surgeon and program director of the Piedmont Transplant Institute in Atlanta. “Transplantation isn’t just a surgical procedure. Our patients need to be evaluated by a specialist prior to receiving a transplant; and after the surgery, they require long-term follow-up care due to the risk of organ rejection.”
Providing better access to transplant centers by opening clinics like the one coming to Macon means more patients can be evaluated for transplantation.
According to Ajay Srivastava, M.D., board-certified nephrologist, assistant professor and chief of the nephrology division for the Mercer University School of Medicine, the accessibility of a Piedmont Transplant satellite clinic in Macon could literally be a life saver for patients currently undergoing dialysis, as well as those nearing dialysis in the Central Georgia community.
“Piedmont Transplant Institute has the best kidney transplant survival rates in the state of Georgia and among the highest in the country—for both the transplanted organ and the patient,” said Dr. Srivastava. “Unfortunately, due to financial constraints and transportation issues, many local dialysis patients simply can’t make the drive to Atlanta periodically for evaluation. The availability of a Piedmont satellite clinic in Macon will afford patients the option of having their pre- and post-transplant evaluations performed locally.”
Despite advances in kidney transplantation outcomes, the number of transplants performed remains constrained by the limited number of available and viable kidney donors. Nationally, the number of deceased kidney donors is declining while the need for kidney transplants continues to grow. With an average wait time in Georgia for a deceased donor kidney between four and five years, nearly 200 Georgians on the list of over 3,200 patients statewide die each year before receiving a kidney transplant.
“Not only is there a shortage of organs available to meet the demand, but there is a limited number of hospital and medical facilities with the experience and expertise to manage these complex cases and to provide each transplant patient with a lifetime of follow-up care,” said Dr. Johnson. “Our main goal in partnering with Mercer Medicine to open this new clinic is to make this kind of quality transplant care more accessible.”
For more information about Mercer Medicine, visit mercer.edu. For more information about transplant services at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, visit piedmonttransplant.org.