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Media Contact: Alicia Lurry 06 July 2006    
  (404) 778-1503   Print  | Email ]

New Mason Transplant Outpatient Clinic Opens Its Doors at The Emory Clinic
The Emory Transplant Center has been awarded a $1.8 million grant from the Carlos and Marguerite Mason Trust, administered by Wachovia Trust, to fund the Mason Outpatient Transplant Clinic. The Mason Outpatient Transplant Clinic--a new, comprehensive, state-of-the-art clinical and patient education center housed in The Emory Clinic--more than triples the size of the former outpatient transplant clinic.

The new clinic, dedicated in June, features a wait room capacity of more than 80, with patient computer and Internet access, patient education classrooms, six patient-friendly evaluation suites with multi-media education capability, 20 exam rooms, increased infusion room capacity, advanced biopsy procedure rooms with high tech ultrasound equipment, and expanded clinical laboratory space.

Christian P. Larsen, MD, DPhil, the Carlos and Marguerite Mason Professor of Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine and director of the Emory Transplant Center, said the clinic dedication marks an exciting time for the center.

"Our charge at the Emory Transplant Center is to care for patients who suffer devastating illnesses that lead to failing lungs, kidneys, or a failing liver or heart," Dr. Larsen said. "In the early years of transplantation the focus was simply to get a surgeon and an organ to save a life, but this is of course far too narrow a perspective. To truly restore life and health for the whole person requires a team of physicians, surgeons, nurses, social workers, infectious disease specialists, psychiatrists, and dermatologists--matched with an administrative team, financial coordinators and more. This clinic gives those teams a home. For me, what these people do is miraculous."

"We are still not satisfied, though," Dr. Larsen added. "The medications we use to keep people alive cause serious side effects, and we sometimes lose transplanted organs to rejection. But we have come a long way over the past decade in developing new and better medications that we have taken from test tubes to clinical trials. We have recruited new surgeons and scientists and administrators, and the transplant center has blossomed. We have broken down barriers and have brought heart, lung, kidney and all transplant services into the same clinic to work as a team."

The Mason Transplant Outpatient Clinic had more than 17,000 patient encounters in 2005, including 7,000 lab visits, 400 infusions and 10,000 provider visits. That same year, the Emory Transplant Center evaluated over 1,000 potential patients and living donors. With the increased capacity, the clinic projects more than 20,000 patient encounters in 2006 and more than 23,000 in 2007.

Michael Johns, MD, CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, said the new clinic is of immense importance to the new direction in which Emory University and the Woodruff Health Sciences Center is headed. Dr. Johns praised Dr. Larsen's leadership and commitment to the center, as well as that of his staff.

"We in the health sciences center are convinced the Emory Transplant Center is a model of the integrated, patient-centered research and clinical care we are pioneering and perfecting at Emory," Dr. Johns said. "Transplantation is one of the first investments the health sciences center is making in this direction. My sincere thanks go to Chris and all those who work with him for making the Emory Transplant Center such an exemplary model of the kind of patient-centered, discovery-anchored center of excellence for which we strive."

"We are delighted and humbled to play a small part in the fine work Emory has done in the area of organ transplantation," said Alice Sheets, a grant administrator with Wachovia Trust and secretary of the Mason Trust. "Since the Mason Trust began grant making in 1993, the trust has granted more than $47 million toward providing access to care for patients in need of transplants, with more than $13.5 million to Emory. The Mason Trust is to be commended for positively impacting the lives of thousands of Georgia residents."

According to Thomas Lawley, MD, dean of the Emory Medical School, "The Mason Trust's generous support in creating the Mason Outpatient Transplant Clinic is only the most recent in a long chain of generosity to transplantation services and research at Emory. In fact, it is the one of the most generous examples of the Mason Trust's vision--a vision shared by Emory--of making transplantation possible for Georgians who need this life-saving operation and helping overcome the many challenges of transplantation. Those challenges are immense, challenges that are medical, emotional and financial. This clinic will be a godsend to thousands of Georgians, and I know the Masons would be proud for it to bear their name."

As part of the Mason Outpatient Transplant Clinic, patients will use pagers, similar to those in restaurants, for more freedom of movement while waiting. An LCD monitor in the waiting room will provide updates on waiting times, physician and other caregiver availability, education programs, and current information about transplantation.

The Emory Transplant Center is one of the most advanced and comprehensive transplant centers in the Southeast. It is the only institution in Georgia offering a full spectrum of transplantation services (heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas and islet) with more than 300 adult and pediatric transplants each year at Emory University Hospital and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. The Emory Transplant Center is a recognized national leader in research, fostering inter-departmental, multi-disciplinary grants from federal sources such as the National Institutes of Health and private foundations with current research funding of more than $8 million.

Wachovia Corp., based in Charlotte, N.C., is the nation's fourth-largest banking institution. Wachovia trust services include comprehensive trust administration, investment management, philanthropic advisory and estate settlement services through more than 70 trust offices along the East Coast, nationwide through Wachovia Securities offices and a Cayman Island Trust subsidiary. Wachovia Trust also has specialty units with expertise in closely held businesses, special needs trusts, international trusts, real estate, planned giving and foundations, as well as other charitable services for individuals and institutions.

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