A Division of Transplantation Surgeon performed Jefferson's first combined kidney/pancreas transplant. The recipient of the two organs is 34-year-old Kevin Scharff, a diabetic since infancy.
(Kevin Scharff, left, the first transplant recipient at Jefferson to receive a combined kidney and pancreas transplant follows up on her care with Gary A. Wilson, MD, Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, center, and Lisa Cascia, RN, BSN, Transplant Nurse Coordinator. / Robert Neroni Photography )
Kevin is a typical candidate for this type of surgery, which is usually performed on persons in their thirties who have suffered from diabetes for 20 or more years and who are experiencing renal failure. "A new, properly functioning pancreas eliminates the possibility of future renal failure from diabetes, and usually reverses or slows the progression of other secondary diabetic complications," explains Gary A. Wilson, MD, Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, who performed the surgery. "Replacing only the kidneys does not eliminate the diabetes, and places the new kidneys at risk for future renal failure."
Before having renal failure, Kevin's diabetes caused other health complications that forced the Wilmington, Delaware resident to give up work and school a few years ago. Now, thanks to the lifesaving transplant performed by Dr. Wilson, Kevin not only no longer suffers from kidney failure, but for the first time in her life she does not have diabetes.
"This is the best I've felt in my whole life," says Kevin. "And, for the first time, I was able to eat my birthday cake in January. As a former diabetic, this is something I couldn't do before the transplant."
Dr. Wilson, who joined Jefferson after completing a two-year fellowship in transplantation at The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, says Kevin is doing exceptionally well. Kevin already has plans to take advantage of her second chance and go back to school once her recovery is complete.
Significant progress in strengthening Jefferson Health System's integrated healthcare delivery system as been achieved through new appointments in the following areas:
* Managed Care Contracting - Stanton N. Smullens, MD, has been named President
and Medical Director of Jefferson HealthCARE Network, the umbrella organization
that is charged with the managed care contracting activities of the Jefferson Health
System (JHS). This appointment was announced by Douglas S. Peters, President and
Chief Executive Officer, JHS. Dr. Smullens will continue his work in developing positive
physician relationships across
the health system and assuring quality care in a managed care environment. He will be responsible for developing effective
clinical protocols, for measuring outcomes and for educating medical staffs within the health system on all issues relating to managed care contracting. Dr. Smullens continues as President and Chief Executive Officer, JeffCARE, Jefferson's affiliated Physician Hospital Organization.
* Compliance - Brenton L. Saunders, JD, MBA, has been named Chief Compliance Officer for JHS. His appointment was announced by David C. Carney, Executive Vice President, JHS. Mr. Saunders is Corporate Compliance Officer and Staff Attorney for Thomas Jefferson University, and he will continue in that position.
* Finance - Michael J. Curran, CPA, has been named Chief Financial Officer for JHS.
His appointment was announced by David C. Carney, Executive Vice President, JHS.
Mr. Curran has been Vice President - Finance for JHS since 1995. Prior to his JHS
appointment, Mr. Curan held
various senior financial positions at Thomas Jefferson University.