University of Pennsylvania Health System

Lung Transplant Update | Penn Medicine

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Help Those Considering a Lung Transplant: Share Your Story

At Penn, we are committed to helping patients build an effective community of support, that complements the care we give, with different types of practical help throughout the transplant process.

That’s why we offer a special feature on the blog called “Share Your Story.”

While patients and their caregivers receive ongoing clinical and social work support from our team, one additional meaningful source of support patients tell us they’ve received comes from connecting with people who have already been through the lung transplant process.

While this connection often happens at the Lung Transplant Support Group, not everyone can attend the meetings. To help connect our patients who are waiting for lungs to become available with people who had successful lung transplants, we offer a regular feature called “Share Your Story”.

If you are a post-transplant patient or support person who would like to share a few encouraging pointers for those who are waiting and their support people, we’d love to hear from you.

You can email your story to transplant outreach coordinator, Margaret Leid, at

If you have a story to tell but writing isn’t something you love to do, contact Margaret at 215-298-3929, and she can work together with you to capture your story in writing.

We look forward to sharing these stories soon!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Maria Molina, MSN, CRNP, Receives International Nursing Excellence Award

The International Transplant Nursing Society (ITNS) announced the recipient of this year’s Nursing Excellence Award: our Penn colleague, heart transplant nurse practitioner, Maria Molina!

This special recognition is awarded annually and honors the unique role that transplant nurses play throughout the complex and often challenging continuum of care required for a successful transplant.

Maria was selected because her career exemplifies the ITNS mission of promoting excellence in transplant clinical nursing. Nominations for Maria to receive this prestigious award highlighted her dedication to patient care, education and research, as well as her outstanding leadership qualities. One nomination from a colleague praised her vision of developing methods to synthesize theories in ways that are most useful to practice and guiding clinical outcomes.

In addition to providing excellent patient care for heart transplant patients at Penn, Maria has worked in collaboration with the American Nursing Association, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Association of Critical Care to develop guidelines that shape cardiovascular nursing practice in the United States.

Donna Chojnowski MSN, CRNP, director of Clinical Operations Advanced Cardiac Care at the Penn Heart and Vascular Center praised the ITNS for recognizing Maria’s accomplishments and contributions.

“Despite the full-time challenges of her role as a transplant nurse practitioner, and the rigor required to maintain clinical expertise, Maria has made significant educational and research strides,” says Donna. “These ongoing accomplishments identify Maria as a leader in transplant nursing.”

Over the course of her career, Maria has contributed to more than 30 research abstracts. This year, she submitted research that garnered the ITNS 2015 Best Research Abstract Award. In addition to these important personal accomplishments, she currently serves as a resource for transplant nurses throughout the greater Philadelphia area in her role as the director of Professional Development for the Delaware Valley Chapter of the ITNS.

Congratulations, Nurse Molina, and best of luck in your future endeavors. We are so proud of you!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Gift of Life Donor Program: New Transplant National Record

Please join Penn Medicine and the Penn Transplant Institute as we take a moment to celebrate the impressive work of Gift of Life Donor Program that lead their achievement of a new national record in organ donation and transplantation last month.

Thanks to the compassion and generosity of 52 people in our region who said “yes” to organ donation, Gift of Life Donor Program was able to facilitate the transplantation of 152 life-saving organs during the month of May. In the United States, this is the highest number of transplants ever coordinated in one month by an organ procurement organization within its own region.

In addition to this impressive milestone, Gift of Life managed and coordinated an additional 33 transplants from organs that came from donors outside of the Greater Philadelphia region, bringing the total number of transplants coordinated in our region for one month to 185.

This hard work and commitment of the Gift of Life staff, and strong partnership with all the transplant teams throughout our region, resulted in a total of 78 kidneys becoming available for transplantation, 44 livers, 19 hearts, 40 lungs* and four pancreas. To add to this remarkable success, the bone, muscle and tissue that was recovered from 108 tissue donors during May will improve thousands of lives.

Congratulations Gift of Life Donor Program and thank you for your outstanding advocacy and excellent results.

*Lungs are counted individually by Gift of Life, so a bilateral lung transplant is reported as two lungs placed.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

June Support Group: Special Guest, Dr. Christian Bermudez

Please join us on Monday, June 8 as we welcome Dr. Christian A. Bermudez, the new surgical director of the Lung Transplant Program and director of Thoracic Transplantation.

Dr. Bermudez is a heart and lung surgeon who received his medical degree from the University of Concepción School of Medicine, in Concepción, Chile. After completing an advanced fellowship in cardiac surgery at the Mayo Clinic, he went on to complete a fellowship in cardiothoracic transplantation and mechanical circulatory support at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

In addition to lung transplantation, Dr. Bermudez' clinical expertise includes advanced procedures for heart failure, including revascularization, valvular procedures and thrombo-endarterectomy for chronic pulmonary hypertension.

His research has focused on methods to improve organ preservation for cardiothoracic transplantation and the study of short- and midterm cardiopulmonary support systems to be used as a bridge to cardiopulmonary transplantation.

Date: Monday, June 8, 2015
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Location:  Smilow Center for Translational Research
, Conference Room 09-146 AB
                   Civic Center Boulevard
                   Philadelphia, PA 19104

**Please enter via the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.

We hope your schedules will allow you to join us. To help us ensure we can accommodate as many people as possible, please reserve your space. Contact Lung Transplant social worker, Chris Erickson, MSW, LCSW at 215-662-4575 or