transplant key

What’s your role in the Pediatric Transplant Center (PTC)?

Pediatric Transplant Center Core Staff
I am the director of the PTC overall, and the surgical director for liver, intestine and kidney transplant. I oversee the administrative responsibilities for all of those programs, as well as for the PTC. The PTC has its own set of responsibilities, really more oversight responsibilities for regulatory stuff related to outside agencies. But really any transplant-related issues that come up in the hospital are directed towards us.
I’m a surgeon, so I also have other responsibilities from a clinical standpoint that have nothing to do with transplant. I also do some research, so it’s a juggling act.

Heung Bae Kim, MD, Surgical Director for Liver, Intestine, and Kidney Transplant Programs, Director of the Pediatric Transplant Center


I’m the director of transplant nursing. I was a coordinator before this, so I did a lot of direct patient care then. At this point, I oversee nurses that care for transplant patients – so helping and organizing the inpatient nurses as well as the transplant coordinators. I help communicate best practices within each transplant to help the other programs and to make sure we have the most cohesive team possible across the five transplant programs.

Laura O’Melia, RN, MSN, CPNP, Director of Transplant Nursing


My name is Marilyn Moonan and I am a Staff Nurse III and the transplant educator for 10 South [the transplant floor]. I act as a resource, coach, and mentor for the nurses on the unit. I provide in-services to the nurses about new information and products related to transplantation. I oversee transplant orientation and also work at the bedside as a transplant resource as needed.

Marilyn Moonan, RN, BSN, CPN, CCTN, Transplant Educator


I’m a transplant pharmacist. My job with the Pediatric Transplant Center is to make sure that each of the patients and families learn about all of their new transplant medications before they go home after they’ve had their transplant surgery.

I think what’s most important about my role is helping families understand that these medications are a lifelong commitment. It’s not just about learning to take medications for a couple of weeks, it’s figuring out how to make medications a part of their everyday lifestyle. They ALWAYS have to take their medications. It is the expectation that this is something they’ll do every day for the lifetime of their transplant graft.

Jennifer Gilarde, PharmD


Melisa: I’m Melisa Oliva. I have a doctorate in psychology, and I’ve been with the PTC since 2008. This was the first time that the PTC had a psychologist specifically dedicated to their service. I work with all of the solid organ transplant teams, including heart, lung, kidney, liver, intestine, and multivisceral. In addition, a hand transplant program was recently approved, and Kris and I will be involved with that as well. Our role is to conduct all of the pre-transplant evaluations for children over the age of three. We meet with them routinely when they’re coming up for transplant to get to know them, see how we can help with any stressors/barriers, and to see if they’re going to be eligible candidates for transplant. The other aspect of our job is following patients when they’re in the hospital. The teams consult us if there are any issues, behaviorally or emotionally, or to check in and provide support during the hospital stay, as we know this is a particularly stressful time. If patients would benefit from ongoing therapy, we can refer them to our coping clinic or mental health providers in the community.

Kris: I’m Kris McKenna, and I’m the newer transplant psychologist in this program having moved from another hospital. I’ve been here since February of 2011 in the role Melisa described.

Melisa Oliva, PsyD and Kristine McKenna, PhD, Transplant Psychologists


My name is Kirsten Getchell. I’m a Child Life specialist on 10 South, a solid organ transplant and surgical unit. I work with children and teens who are waiting for, or have received, kidney, liver, double lung, or multivisceral transplants. I help children, teens, and families cope with and understand their hospital stay and experience. I work closely with all members of the team including nursing, as well as the psychosocial team, including Psychiatry and Social Work.

Part of my role is to be the voice of the child, and to make sure they understand what’s going on at their level, whatever that level is. My job is to help them across the developmental spectrum and throughout the transplant process. They may share questions with me that they are afraid to ask their parents or doctors, and I encourage them to ask their parents and doctors. If the child or teen is afraid to ask the questions verbally, we’ll write the questions down together and present them to their parents and team. I try to transform the sterile and procedural world of the hospital to a place that the kids can relate, through communicating what and why things are happening, what they should expect, and how best to manage their health, both in the hospital and after they leave…

Kirsten Getchell, MS, CCLS, Child Life Specialist, 10 South


I am the transplant administrator, which means I oversee the business side of the program. I’m over all the budgets for the programs, and I do the strategic planning, marketing, and contracting, but I also work with Laura, our Director of Nursing on some of the clinical pieces. I oversee our quality program within the PTC. I also do new program development, so if we look at starting a new type of program, then I help do the business plan for that.

John Kueven, MSHA, MBA, RN, Administrator of the PTC

transplant_heart_red Heart Transplant Team

I’m Dr. Elizabeth Blume, and I’m the medical director of the Cardiomyopathy, Heart Failure, and Heart Transplant Program. We take care of patients with end-stage heart disease. We evaluate them for possible heart transplant, and then take care of them while they’re waiting, through their surgery, and their hospital stay, and then into adulthood.

Elizabeth Blume, MD, Medical Director, Heart Transplant Program


I’m Heather Bastardi. I’m a nurse practitioner with the Heart Transplant Program at Children’s. We started our program back in 1986, and we’ve done over 200 transplants since the beginning of the program. The program has a group of five cardiologists, four coordinators, and members of other multidisciplinary groups as well: Psychiatry, Social Work, Nutrition, Pharmacy, and a slew of others. We all work together to coordinate care and manage the patient pre-transplant, while they’re listed and waiting, and then after transplant.

Heather Bastardi, MSN, RN, PNP, Transplant Coordinator, Heart Transplant Program


I’m Kate Huyler, and I’m the Child Life specialist on 8 South, the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. I have many different roles and responsibilities on 8 South, including helping patients and families cope with their hospitalization, implementing developmental care plans and daily routine charts, and preparing patients for procedures and surgeries.

I spend a good majority of my day with transplant patients, because a lot of them stay here while they’re on the waitlist to get a heart. Then after children get a transplant, for however long they’re in the ICU, I will help orient them to what’s going on and work with them to implement their coping strategies.

Kate Huyler, CCLS, Child Life Specialist, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

transplant_lung_blue  Lung Transplant Team
I’m Debra Boyer. I’m officially the associate medical director for the Lung Transplant Program, and so I do medical aspects of lung transplantation. As a pulmonologist I don’t do the surgery, but I’ll do bronchoscopies and other aspects of the patient’s medical care, before, during, and after a transplant.

Debra Boyer, MD, Associate Medical Director, Lung Transplant Program


I’m Dawn Freiberger and I’m the lung transplant coordinator. I take care of patients from referral, listing and through the transplant process until they are no longer BCH patients, as long as they’re in the lung transplant system. I coordinate their care, both inpatient and outpatient. I’m sort of the go-to person for the team to organize different things, and I have a lot of administrative responsibilities as well.

Dawn Freiberger, RN, MSN, Lung Transplant Program


I’m Lynne Helfand. I am the social worker for the Lung Transplant Program. My role includes meeting the family when they come for evaluation, at which point I do a psychosocial assessment and get to know the family and how they work as a family. I help families understand what this process might be like and help them prepare themselves in whatever ways they can, emotionally and also with resources they may need to have in place.

We support them while they’re waiting; at the time of transplant; and then as they recover and deal with living with their transplant: getting used to their new treatment regimes, getting back into school (for kids that are school age), talking to their friends about what’s happened, and for families, garnering the support that they need.

Lynne Helfand, MSW, LICSW, MPH, Social Worker, Lung Transplant Program

transplant_liver_green Liver Transplant Team
My name is Dr. Maureen Jonas, and I’m the medical director of the Liver Transplant Program. All of these transplant programs are multidisciplinary; each of the major organ programs has both a medical director and a surgical director. The surgeon is the one who actually does the transplant surgery; the medical doctors on the team evaluate the patients beforehand, may refer them for transplant, participate in the discussions about when transplant should be done, and then co-manage the medical care after transplant.

Maureen Jonas, MD, Medical Director, Liver Transplant Program


I’m Courtney Fratto, I’m a nurse practitioner and I am the multivisceral and isolated intestine transplant coordinator. Usually what happens is I will get a referral, usually from the CAIR clinic (the intestinal rehab clinic here), and then I will go and introduce myself to the family, explaining my role as the coordinator in the transplant process, if that’s where we’re headed.

Liver, intestine, multivisceral, we’re all one program. We don’t have many multivisceral transplant patients, so if we’re not that busy, then I do the livers as well.

Courtney Fratto, RN, MSN, CPNP, Transplant Coordinator, Multivisceral and Liver Transplant Programs

transplant_kidney_yellow Kidney Transplant Team

I’m Courtney Loper. I’m one of the two renal transplant coordinators, and I’m also a nurse practitioner. We’re responsible for the patients from the time that they enter into the End-Stage Renal Disease Program, all the way through hopefully getting them transplanted. We plan the transplant, work up donors if it’s a living donor situation, organize all the meetings in preparation for transplant, and coordinate dialysis, if necessary. Post-transplant, we’re responsible for making sure that the protocols go as planned while they’re inpatient, then making sure that everything is set up for discharge before they go home. We follow up, making sure all their labs are drawn when they’re supposed to be drawn, making sure they come to our Renal Transplant Clinic when they’re supposed to be there, making sure that prescriptions are done and refilled, making sure that they’re getting the right doses; making sure the parents and the patients all know their medicines, doses, indications, etc; and answering calls that come in. There’s a lot of family support, not just the patient. In a nutshell, that’s what we do!

Courtney Loper, RN, MSN, CPNP, Transplant Coordinator, Kidney Transplant Program


I’m Roberta Hoffman and I am one of two social workers in the Renal Program and the entire division of Nephrology. That includes the general renal patients with renal insufficiency as well as renal failure, so dialysis and the Kidney Transplant Program.

Roberta Hoffman, MSW, Social Worker, Kidney Transplant Program

purple-transplant multi Multivisceral Transplant Team
I’m Rima Fawaz. I’m one of the pediatric gastroenterologists and hepatologists, and I’m the medical director of the Multivisceral and Intestinal Transplant Program. We see cases from all over the country. It’s a small volume program, so the numbers are limited, because obviously the indications are also very limited. Only extreme indications will get a multivisceral transplant.

Rima Fawaz, MD, Medical Director, Multivisceral Transplant Program


I’m Emily Holman, I’m one of the social workers here. I work in the Multivisceral Transplant Program. The social worker’s role in the transplant center is sort of multi-faceted. We help with the initial evaluation of patients who get referred to us for possible transplant. With multivisceral, they have often come from far away – out-of-state or sometimes even out-of-country – so the initial evaluation that we do is really helping assess the family’s social support, financial and emotional status, not with the purpose of saying that they can’t have a transplant, but just to sort of get a better sense of who they are, how they work (especially how they work under stress), and what we can do to help put supports in place to help them cope with what can be a very long process. We support them through the stress of the wait, and then help them adjust to life after transplant, which brings a whole host of other issues.

Emily Holman, MSW, LICSW, Social Worker, Multivisceral Transplant Program


I’m Courtney Fratto, I’m a nurse practitioner and I am the multivisceral and isolated intestine transplant coordinator. Usually what happens is I will get a referral, usually from the CAIR clinic (the intestinal rehab clinic here), and then I will go and introduce myself to the family, explaining my role as the coordinator in the transplant process, if that’s where we’re headed.
Liver, intestine, multivisceral, we’re all one program. We don’t have many multivisceral transplant patients, so if we’re not that busy, then I do the livers as well.

Courtney Fratto, RN, MSN, CPNP, Transplant Coordinator, Multivisceral and Liver Transplant Programs