MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute Opens New Clinical Space

The MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute’s (MGTI) new home is on the second floor of the Pasquerilla Healthcare Building (PHC), formerly occupied by the Department of Pediatrics.

October 3, 2014

Design Focuses On Enhanced Patient Experience, Quality Care

(Washington, D.C.) - More than a hundred clinicians, supporters and patients have taken the wraps off a sleek new transplant clinic designed for maximum patient convenience and collaboration among clinicians.

The MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute’s (MGTI) new home is on the second floor of the Pasquerilla Healthcare Building (PHC), formerly occupied by the Department of Pediatrics.

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (MGUH) president Dr. Richard Goldberg, along with MGTI executive director Dr. Thomas Fishbein, opened the unit with a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception on September 23, sharing the MGTI story and the journey to its new location.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the number of individuals on the national Organ Transplant Waiting List is growing rapidly, totaling 84,000 men, women and children--that’s more than enough people to fill the entire football stadium at FedEx Field. Approximately 3,000 of those patients are from the Northern Virginia region alone, currently waiting for a liver transplant.

Meeting the demand of this unique patient population is MGTI, filled with world-renowned MedStar Georgetown physicians and associates, led by Fishbein for over a decade, who are committed to improving the lives of transplant patients through clinical care, education and research.

When Fishbein arrived at MedStar Georgetown from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, the institute occupied 2 Main of the Hospital. Over time, the group saw a need to design a facility that would provide a smoother and more comprehensive experience for patients.

“The clinic on 2 Main was excellent when it was originally built, but presented a number of challenges for our patients,” said Fishbein. “One of the major challenges was the ability to work collaboratively and facilitate a workflow that benefitted our patients and associates.” For example, patients often had to schedule appointments on different days or go through multiple steps to register or have their blood drawn.

Fishbein and his MGUH colleagues saw the challenges patients faced and decided it was time to come up with a solution for the outdated space.

“Overall, we knew we needed a space and design that allows us to offer a cohesive and integrated flow to provide top-notch patient care,” he said. “In addition, the identified area needed a more patient-centered atmosphere, one that would reflect the MedStar Health brand and meet the service expectations of patients at MGUH.”

The clinic is set up with rooms for kidney patients, their coordinators, nurse practitioners, social workers and physicians located in one space or pod. The same goes for specialists in liver and small bowel transplant. Pediatric transplant clinicians, administrators and social workers are all in another pod, dedicated just to pediatrics.

Additional design choices were made to enhance patient experience, helping visitors to the clinic feel comfortable and nurtured as possible during their appointment. “A large cherry blossom mural symbolizes new beginnings and rebirth that transplant patients often feel when they receive a new organ,” said Fishbein. He added that many organ recipients celebrate the “birthday” of their organs as the date they received their transplant. Waterfalls that surround a donor wall for educational videos also symbolize hope and renewal that transplant patients feel along their journey.

New modern upgrades to the 19,000 square foot clinic feature:

  • 17 patient rooms
  • Workroom so nurse practitioners, transplant coordinators and social works can collaborate in a team environment
  • Separate wing for pediatric transplant patients and their families
  • Four pediatric transplant rooms
  • Service oriented design concept
  • Seven patient rooms dedicated to small bowel and liver patients, six for kidney patients
  • Mobile carts with a computer and printer to allow for better interaction with a provider
  • On-site education services where the patient and family can watch a video and collaborate before meeting with their doctor

Other services include patient navigators available to patients to better understand the sometimes complex intricacies of the healthcare system from financial and insurance questions to scheduling appointments.

Patients will also have access to academic research and medicine with the addition of the research team now located in the same area. Patients can take part in clinical trials, review new medicines and better understand what treatment options are available to them.

“The transplant department performs nearly 300 organ transplants per year. And, our patient survival rates outperform the national average, said Fishbein. “At MedStar Georgetown, we are making revolutionary advances to improve transplant outcomes for patients. We continue to get a better understanding of the rejection and acceptance of organs and hope to reduce wait times even further with an organ donor bank in the future.”

At the ceremony, Goldberg addressed the audience which included special guest, Mark Pasquerilla, who drove from Johnstown, Pa., to take part in the dedication. Pasquerilla is the son of benefactors Frank and Sylvia Pasquerilla, who donated the PHC Building in appreciation of Georgetown's doctors in 1990.

Goldberg stated, “The MGTI is a first rate program specializing in multi-organ transplant procedures and the third largest performer of small bowel transplants in the United States. This is complicated surgery done to perfection thanks to our team of specialized surgeons. It’s wonderful to have a space so befitting of the quality of the program.”

One of the patients attending the opening was Nancy Ginsberg, who, along with her husband, helped fund the new space through donations to MGTI. Ginsberg, a recipient of a liver transplant, continues to thrive, she said. “Without the MGTI and its skilled team of surgeons, I wouldn’t be able to see my son get married or meet my first grandchild. I am very lucky I found Georgetown.”

As the ceremony concluded, guests were offered a tour of the new space that will be home to patients waiting for the “gift of life at Georgetown,” said Ginsberg.

For more information on the transplant clinic, watch the video below highlighting MGTI’s commitment to research, education and clinical care. 

Category : Transplant ,

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