People You Should Know
Your Transplant Team
Many people at the transplant center work to make your transplant as successful as possible. It's important that you know who each of these people are and what they will be doing to help you through your transplant. You will need to feel comfortable talking to them and asking them questions about your health and/or status concerning transplantation.
Your transplant team will include all or some of the following people:
- Transplant Coordinator. Usually a registered nurse, who will be your main contact and will work with you and other members of your transplant team to coordinate your care.
- Transplant Surgeon. The doctor who will evaluate your present condition, make recommendations, and ultimately perform your transplant surgery.
- Transplant Physician. This doctor, whether a nephrologist, hepatologist, cardiologist or other specialist, will assist the surgeon in evaluating your need for transplantation and help with your care.
- Transplant Financial Coordinator. The financial coordinator has detailed knowledge of financial matters and hospital billing methods. This person works with social workers to determine how you can best afford the cost of your transplant.
- Insurance Case Manager. Often your first point of contact, the insurance case manager helps navigate the specifics of insurance coverage.
- Social Worker. Most transplant programs are staffed with social workers who are ready to help you. Transplant social workers can assist transplant candidates and their families with a variety of helpful resources, including the development of a financial plan. They can also help address psycho-social issues and determine your needs and help you understand and cope with basic problems associated with your illness.
- Dietician. As an integral part of the transplant team, the registered dietitian develops nutrition therapy to patients before and after transplantation. Educating patients about maintaining a healthy weight and minimizing side effects of anti-rejection drug therapy ensures optimal nutrition status and improves transplant outcomes.
The following people serve as patient representatives in UNOS:
- Vice President of Patient and Donor Family Affairs. Elected by UNOS for a one year term, this patient or donor family member represents patients and donor families to the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors and the Board's Executive Committee.
- The Patient Affairs Committee. This committee assists with making OPTN/UNOS policies, reviews patient education materials and represents the opinion of patients within UNOS. The Patient Affairs Committee advises the UNOS Board of Directors and other UNOS committees of the patient and donor family perspective regarding policy proposals. The committee is made up of at least 11 members (one from each of the UNOS regions), and some additional at-large members. The members are mostly transplant recipients, as well as donor family members, from different areas of the country. Each regular member serves a three-year term. At-large members serve a two-year term.
To contact your representatives, e-mail the UNOS Patient Services Coordinator.
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is committed to providing accurate and reliable information for transplant patients. The content on this page was originally created on July 15, 2003 by UNOS and last modified on March 29, 2012.
This web site is intended solely for the purpose of electronically providing the public with general health-related information and convenient access to the data resources. UNOS is not affiliated with any one product nor does UNOS assume responsibility for any error, omissions or other discrepancies.