Winthrop: A Gateway to a Top-Rated Kidney Transplant Program


Vol. 18, No. 3
Fall 2008

  • A Gift... Beyond the Gift of Life

  • 12 Winthrop Specialists Named to New York Magazine’s 2008 “Best Doctors” List

  • Cancer Center for Kids Moves to a New Home

  • Friends & Benefactors Annual Reception

  • Winthrop Helps Postal Clerk Get Some Sleep

  • Winthrop: A Gateway to a Top-Rated Kidney Transplant Program

  • DiStasio Family Makes Donation to NICU

  • The Center for Advanced Care of Chronic Conditions

  • New Center for the Advanced Care of Chronic Conditions: Easing Patients’ Burdens through a Single Coordinated Plan of Care

  • Golfing for the CCFK

  • Annual Gala Celebrates Winthrop’s Passion for Care without Compromise

  • CCFK Families Celebrate Life

  • Unique Program Helps New Mothers Cope

  • Saving Lives in Bolivia

  • Winthrop’s New Welcoming Ambassadors

  • Tenth Annual Cancer Survivors Day Celebrates Life

  • Bay’s Big Bash Does it Again!

  • Spizz Family Supports CCFK

  • Pediatric Unit Receives Quilt Donation

  • Amanda Styles Cirelli Foundation Makes Generous Donation to CCFK

    Back to Publications

  • With so many intricate parts to the human body, it’s not often that we stop to think about what they are doing to keep us healthy.

    Healthy kidneys are a vital filtering system for the body, cleansing the blood and removing waste products and excess fluids. When damage or disease to the kidneys occurs, waste and fluid can build up in the body, eventually causing kidney failure.

    But there is hope for thousands of Long Islanders suffering with chronic kidney failure. In addition to having access to lifesaving dialysis services from the team of experts at Winthrop- University Hospital’s Dialysis Center, the largest hospital-based outpatient dialysis program on Long Island, a new and unique program at Winthrop gives patients a direct link to experts from one of the top-ranked kidney disease programs in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.

    Launched in May, Winthrop’s Gateway Program to the New York- Presbyterian (NYP) Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center Kidney Transplant Program provides patients with chronic renal failure with one-on-one access to members of NYP/Columbia’s expert transplant team who perform transplant evaluations here at Winthrop.

    “Winthrop-University Hospital saw a unique opportunity to improve patients’ experiences and bring the expertise of a premier New York City transplant program to Long Island,” said Steven Fishbane, MD, Chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at Winthrop-University Hospital. “The Gateway Program to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/ Columbia University Medical Center provides any patient with advanced kidney disease access to pre-surgical evaluations that are conducted by Columbia’s expert transplant team right here at Winthrop.”

    Winthrop’s Gateway Program provides a unique opportunity for Long Island patients with chronic renal failure who otherwise may not have sought care from New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center due to travel-related barriers.

    Thanks to the accessibility of the program and the individualized expertise that every patient receives from the NYP/Columbia staff and the dedicated clinical team at Winthrop, Winthrop’s Gateway Program has already helped more than 20 patients take momentous strides towards transplantation. What’s more, the program has been instrumental in helping two patients progress through the entire transplantation process – with one patient a grateful recipient of New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia’s first four-way kidney swap, and the other, a recipient of their first simultaneous kidneypancreas transplant.

    image
    Members of New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center’s transplant team (l.-r.) Joan Kelly, RN, BSN, CCTC, Chief Transplant Coordinator; David J. Cohen, MD, Medical Director, Renal and Pancreatic Transplant; and Lloyd E. Ratner, MD, FACS, Director, Renal and Pancreatic Transplant; with Steven Fishbane, MD, Chief, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension at Winthrop-University Hospital; Charleen Mann, Practice Manager at Winthrop Nephrology Associates; and Paul W. Whalen, Assistant Vice President, Medical Services at Winthrop.
    Barbara Asofsky of Wantagh has been a patient of Dr. Fishbane’s for almost four years and was among the first patients evaluated by the Columbia transplant team at Winthrop. Although Ms. Asofsky’s husband Doug, who is blood type O (the “universal donor”) wanted to donate his kidney to his wife, he was not a compatible match. Yet, by donating one of his kidney’s to another recipient, the couple had a unique opportunity to participate in Columbia’s first four-way kidney swap, in which various donors and recipients are matched for sequential donations.

    Once a month, members of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/ Columbia University Medical Center transplant team – Lloyd E. Ratner, MD, Surgical Director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Programs; David J. Cohen, MD, Medical Director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Programs; and Joan Kelly, RN, BSN, CCTC, Chief Transplant Coordinator – travel to Winthrop to provide thorough pre-evaluation screening and assessments of patients considering kidney transplantation.

    The NYP/Columbia team works in conjunction with several Winthrop staff members – including nursing staff, a registered dietician and a social worker – to complete a comprehensive education and evaluation process which helps to determine a patient’s candidacy for transplantation.

    “It is a tremendous cooperative effort that focuses entirely on the patient,” said Charleen Mann, Practice Manager at Winthrop Nephrology Associates.

    The day begins with patients and one of their loved ones enjoying a complimentary breakfast as they view an informational video about kidney transplantation, prepared by the NYP/Columbia team. At the conclusion of the video, patients have the opportunity to ask questions or clarify any concerns that they may have.

    The evaluations proceed throughout the day as a round-robin, with patients spending approximately one hour with each member of the evaluation team.

    Each team member discusses a range of detailed information with the patient – from conducting an in-depth medical history and comprehensive psychosocial assessment to a thorough nutritional assessment and commencing the preliminary blood tests.

    “Winthrop can also arrange for translation services for non-English speaking patients to ensure that all of the information communicated throughout the day is relayed accurately and effectively,” added Ms. Mann.

    Upon completion of the preevaluation at Winthrop, a selection committee at Columbia discusses the findings of the assessment and the patient’s eligibility for transplant. The patient and their referring physician then receive a letter that outlines their eligibility and any further testing that is required to proceed through the transplant process. Ms. Mann will then work directly with patients to help coordinate appointments for all of the required testing right here on Long Island – at Winthrop or with their personal physician.

    “It’s a very unique service that is tailored to meet the needs of each patient,” said Dr. Fishbane. “Patients have a lot of support, making it less stressful on them.”

    Patients who successfully complete all of the necessary testing are then eligible to go on Columbia’s transplant list. Patients receive their transplants at Columbia University Medical Center.

    “Patients in need of a kidney transplant not only want a superior experience from a top center, but a successful transplant that will provide them with years of good health,” said Dr. Fishbane. “Thanks to Winthrop’s Gateway Program, patients across Long Island and Queens now have that at their fingertips.”

    For more information about Winthrop and its innovative kidney programs, please call 1-866-WINTHROP



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