University of Pennsylvania Health System

Lung Transplant Update | Penn Medicine

Friday, November 21, 2014

Penn Transplant House Wish List

Being far from home when you need medical care is never easy. When that happens during the holidays, it can be even more challenging. If you’d like to help us offer additional hospitality to the guests at the Clyde F. Barker Transplant House, we’re making it simple. Donations will be accepted on Monday, December 8th at the Penn Transplant Institute’s 2014 Patient Holiday Party. Just look for the Penn Transplant House table and add your donation to the collection.

“These items will help us to offer additional hospitality and care to our guests,” said Transplant House manager, Kirsten King. “Donations like this really help us transform the space from a house to a home, and that’s particularly important during the holidays.”

If you have any questions about the holiday wish list, Kirsten can be reached at 215.662.4540 or Donations can also be delivered directly to the Clyde F. Barker Penn Transplant House at 3940 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

The Transplant House Wish List

Here’s a list of items that would be helpful for patients whose transplant journey takes them hundreds of miles from home:
  • Bathroom scales (12—one per guest room)
  • Bellman’s luggage cart
  • Magazine and newspaper subscriptions (Lifetime, Newsweek, National Geographic, Martha Stewart, etc.)
  • Playstation 3 with four controllers and games
  • Quilts (twin or queen-size beds, in neutral, solid color or paisley print) 
    • Pottery Barn: Kennedy Patchwork Quilt & Shams 
    • Pottery Barn: Malin Patchwork Quilt & Shams 
    • Pottery Barn: Claire Patchwork Quilt & Shams 
    • Pottery Barn: Pick-Stitch Quilt and Shams (porcelain blue and flagstone) 
  • Aluminum foil—heavy duty, large rolls 
  • Non-stick baking sheets—Wilton or Calphalon
  • Cake/cupcake storage containers—Rubbermaid 
  • Coffee mugs—Pier 1 Imports Metallic Geo Mug Set
  • Dish racks (3)—Polder Model KTH-615, four-piece advantage dish rack system 
  • Disposable coffee cups with lids—Dixie or Solo brands 
  • KitchenAid black box graters with storage (3)
  • Knife sharpener—Chef’s Choice Hybrid 250 Diamond Hone 
  • Madesmart expandable cutlery storage 
  • Pyrex Storage Plus 20-piece container set with color lids 
  • Liquid measuring cups 
  • Heavy-duty Saran Wrap
  • Serving dishes (large bowls and platters)—Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, etc (neutral/ earth tones, and various sizes) 
  • Toaster—Frigidaire Widemouth Professional, two or four-slot
  • Tongs, basting brush, cooking thermometer, etc.
  • Wire cooling racks 
  • Zip-lock bags
  • Nightlights for guest room bathrooms (12)—Forever Glo LED Nite Lite 
  • Hampers (12)—collapsible, cotton, 12”x 12”x 30”
Thank you for including the Transplant House in your holiday gift giving. We look forward to seeing you on December 8.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

You're Invited to the Transplant Patient Holiday Party!

Before your calendars start filling up with holiday celebrations, we wanted to make sure that you pencil in the 2014 Penn Transplant Institute’s patient holiday party.

The holiday party will take place on Monday, December 8 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Smilow Center for Translational Research, 3400 Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Parking will be available in the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.

We hope your schedules will allow you to join us for a lovely evening of fun, food and celebration. For those of you who haven’t yet joined us for a holiday party, one unique aspect of it is the guest list. In addition to pre- and post-lung transplant patients, our guest list includes patients who are connected to Penn through heart, liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation – making the evening a great opportunity to see friends you’ve made along your transplant journey and make some new ones. Plus, you never know who else will turn up – there may even be some cameo appearances from Penn Lung Transplant team members!

This year we’re adding a photo booth to the festivities, so if you’d like a snapshot souvenir come prepared for the camera. The photo booth candid shots will be used on the Penn Transplant Institute’s Facebook page. Be sure to find us on Facebook before the party, so you can share your snapshot with your friends and family.

In addition to the festivities and delicious complimentary food, there will be an opportunity to share some holiday cheer with the Clyde F. Barker Penn Transplant House. If you’d like to drop off a donation by check, look for the Transplant House table where a team member will be to accept your donation. Checks can be made payable to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. Please put "Transplant House" on the memo line. Stay tuned for more details next week on how you can help the Transplant House this holiday season.

To attend the patient holiday party, kindly R.S.V.P. by November 28 by calling 1-800-789-PENN (7366). For more information about the party, please contact Denise DuPont, manager of Outreach and Communications, at 215-873-7983 or

We look forward to seeing you on December 8!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November Support Group: Attitude of Gratitude Open Forum

Date: Monday, November 10, 2014
Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
NEW Location: Clyde F. Barker Penn Transplant House
3940 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Topic: Attitude of Gratitude

Charles Dickens once said, “Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”

During difficult times, having an “attitude of gratitude” can be tough, especially while managing the unique challenges that the lung transplant journey presents for patients and their caregivers.

In honor of the approaching Thanksgiving holiday, the November 11 support group will center around the theme of gratitude. Penn Lung Transplant social worker, Christopher Erickson, MSW, LCSW, will moderate the open forum discussion at the Transplant House.

If you’d like additional information, please contact Christopher at 215-662-4575 or

We look forward to seeing you on Monday!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy 40th Birthday, Gift of Life!

Look who’s turning the big 4-0: The Gift of Life Donor Program! As our region’s federally designated, non-profit, organ procurement organization, Gift of Life continues to set national records for the number of organ donors per year, as well as the number of organs recovered per donor – making it one of the busiest and most successful organ procurement organizations in the country.

As we celebrate Gift of Life’s exciting milestone and ongoing successes, the Penn Lung Transplant team thought it would be the perfect time to share some helpful information about the organ donation and transplant system in the United States and the critical role played by organ procurement organizations (OPOs).

When did OPOs begin to connect donors and recipients?

To answer that question well, we’ll need to take a quick look back to understand the beginnings of donation and transplantation. In 1967, when Penn surgeons were among the first in the country to begin doing kidney transplants, kidneys were only recovered from living donors. When brain death protocols came into practice and organs from deceased donors became an option, organs recipients were identified from a small geographic area – in very close proximity to where the organ donor died. This made transplantation an option for a small percentage of people who needed transplants.

As advances in transplant surgery evolved and the first medicine to stop organ rejection was approved by the Federal Drug Administration, more organs were able to be transplanted. Transplant continued to become an effective treatment for end-stage organ failure; it became clear that a national system was needed to fairly distribute deceased donor organs to those who needed them.

In 1984, the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) was signed into law. This law created the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN) for matching donor organs to waiting recipients and is administered through the United States Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources Administration. NOTA also called for the responsibilities of the OPTN to be carried out by a private, non-profit organization under federal contract. The United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) was awarded the contract in 1986 and continues to administer the OPTN today.

What does UNOS do?

The primary goals of UNOS are to:
  • Increase and ensure the effectiveness, efficiency and fairness of organ sharing in the national system of organ allocation 
  • Increase the supply of donated organs available for transplantation
In addition to developing national allocation policies, UNOS manages the Unet, a complex computer system that matches donated organs to transplant candidates by connecting all transplant centers and all of the organ procurement organizations in the country.

To effectively and efficiently allocate donated organs, UNOS divided the country into regions. Here’s the map of UNOS regions:

UNOS regions are served by one or more organ procurement organization and states can also be served by more than one organ procurement organization. For example, Penn Transplant is in state of Pennsylvania, which is in UNOS region two and there are two organ procurement organizations serving the state of Pennsylvania – Gift of Life Donor Program (serving eastern Pennsylvania) and the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (serving western Pennsylvania).

The local area served by an organ procurement organization is called its “service area”. Gift of Life’s service area is eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and the state of Delaware. In New Jersey, northern New Jersey is served by an organ procurement organization called the NJ Sharing Network.

What exactly does an OPO do?

An organ procurement organization (OPO) serves as the bridge between acute care hospitals – where families are offered the opportunity to donate – and transplant centers where people are waiting for organs.

The OPO serving our region, Gift of Life, has a two-fold mission: to serve families who are making end-of-life decisions and to advocate for those who are waiting for a life-saving organ to become available. Gift of Life accomplishes this mission in several ways, and the process begins with education. To help increase the awareness of the critical need for organ and tissue donation and dispel the myths and misinformation that keeps people from saying “yes” to donation, it provides ongoing public and professional education.

In addition to offering critical education, Gift of Life coordinates the organ donation and transplantation process by providing evaluations at acute care hospitals that determine whether or not donation is an option. When donation is an option – which occurs less than two percent of the time – it partners with hospital staff to discuss the donation opportunity to the family.

If the family says “yes” to donation, Gift of Life adds the donor’s information into Unet and then contacts the transplant centers whose patients are on the list generated for that specific organ donor. Once a recipient has been identified, it manages the entire organ recovery process including the transportation for all of the transplant teams – which can be up to seven different teams, and the surgical recovery of specific tissues and organs the family has donated. If you’re interested in learning more about the organ donation process, this video gives some additional information.

The work of Gift of Life Donor Program continues after donation takes place. Through the organization’s family support services, donor family and recipient letters are coordinated and donor families are offered free counseling to support them through the first year after donation. In addition, ongoing support is provided through special events, such as the Annual Donor Family Recognition ceremony. 

Celebrate Gift of Life

The Penn Lung Transplant Team would like to congratulate Gift of Life on 40 years of compassionate care for donor families and excellent clinical donor management. Thank you, Gift of Life, and happy 40th birthday!