MADISON, Wis. ̶ UW Health welcomed its first patients to the new Pleasant T. Rowland Transplant Clinic at University Hospital this morning, marking a new era of patient care for the world-renowned organ transplant center at UW Health.
The new 10,000-square-foot clinic, located just inside the University Hospital clinics entrance, serves adult patients who are being evaluated for or who have received an organ transplant, as well as those who give the gift of life through living organ donation.
Conveniently located within steps of parking and valet services, the expanded clinic space provides the full spectrum of adult patient services in one location, eliminating the need for patients and their loved ones to travel to other areas within the hospital, according to Dr. Dixon Kaufman, transplant surgeon and medical director, UW Health Transplant Center, and professor of surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
“Patient-centered care has always been the heart of the UW Health Transplant Center, and our new clinic beautifully embodies that mission in its design,” Kaufman said. “We know that a successful patient experience is not just about the trusted relationships our patients have with their providers, but about the ease and comfort in which they encounter their care. Seeing those two elements seamlessly combined in one location is just the latest milestone for a Center that has been advancing the field of transplantation for more than 55 years.”
Arguably one of the most complex healthcare processes a patient can experience, organ transplantation requires a well-coordinated integration of medical expertise and services. The consolidation of all associated transplant services in one clinic – from lab work to radiology to nutrition counseling and health psychology – ensures the time that patients spend at the clinic flows smoothly and meets all their pre- and post-transplant needs. Other features new to the clinic include a medication management system, computers for patient education in every exam room, and digital boards that help coordinate patient and provider workflows. The clinic also features an interactive “living donor wall,” a glass and electronic art exhibit which honors and celebrates the names and stories of people who have donated a kidney or part of their liver so that others can have a second chance at life.
“We couldn’t be prouder of our Transplant Center’s new home for adult services, but we also know that the field of organ transplantation, like all of healthcare, is never and should never be satisfied with the status quo,” said Dr. Alan Kaplan, CEO, UW Health. “In that spirit we promise to build upon this latest milestone in our Center’s long history by continuing to dream big and harness the innovation required to make it happen. Our goal has never been to simply meet the future of organ transplantation head on but to be among the leaders who help define it.”
The clinic is named after local educator, entrepreneur and philanthropist Pleasant T. Rowland, whose $10 million gift helped make the new clinic a reality. Perhaps best known as founder of the Middleton-based Pleasant Company (now American Girl), Rowland has long sought to improve the Madison community through her many philanthropic contributions, but this gift may be one of her most personal. In 2012, after living in kidney failure for almost 20 years, Rowland underwent a kidney transplant herself at University Hospital thanks to the generosity of a living donor. According to Rowland, the transplant saved her from an uncertain future but also inspired her to give back to the center that helped her survive and to the many patients who come to UW Health seeking a second chance at life.
Since completing its first kidney transplant in 1966, the UW Health Transplant Center is considered one of the oldest, largest and most successful in the country. In addition to offering a wide range of transplant services, including kidney and live-donor kidney, pancreas, liver and live-donor liver, heart, lung, heart/lung, intestine, multiple organ, islet cell and pediatric transplants, the center also conducts innovative research that is helping shape the future of organ recovery, organ availability, transplant surgery, and pre- and post-transplant care.