Transplant Support Services

The Vanderbilt Transplant Center provides support services to help you and your family through each step of the transplant process. We help you manage all aspects of your organ transplant, from finances and insurance to making sure you have the emotional and psychological support you need.

Why Choose Vanderbilt

We offer the following services to support you before, during and after your organ transplant:

  • Financial counseling
  • Infectious disease program
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Psychiatric services
  • Quality of life research, which gathers feedback from patients to help us improve our care
  • Return-to-work program
  • Social work services
  • Transplant pharmacists

Financial counseling

Financial considerations are an important part of having an organ transplant. Each of our solid-organ transplant programs has a financial counselor who will help you understand the cost of transplantation, your individual benefits and the cost of medications after transplant.

You can reach our transplant financial counselors Monday through Friday during business hours. For more information, call:

  • Heart and pediatrics: Lori Russell, (615) 936-3500
  • Liver: Lisa Conyer, (615) 936-5321
  • Kidney-pancreas: Renee Allison and Beth Goodrich, (615) 936-0695
  • Lung: Denisha Luvene, (615) 936-0393

Before your transplant evaluation, please call your insurance provider to learn if your plan covers transplantation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Infectious Disease Program

Our Transplant Infectious Disease Program is a very important part of the ongoing success of the Vanderbilt Transplant Center. We have full-time infectious disease doctors devoted to this program. These doctors make daily rounds among the transplant patients at Vanderbilt and the Nashville VA Medical Center.

  • Lora Thomas, MD, MPH, director
  • Kevin Dee, MD
  • Richard LaRue, MD
  • Gowri Satyanarayana, MD

Nutrition Counseling

Nutrition screening and counseling is an important part of the care we offer to transplant recipients and living donors. A balanced diet can help you maintain your health through your transplant journey and avoid some of the side effects of medication therapies. Our nutritionists work closely with you to personalize a diet that will meet your unique needs. For more information, call (615) 936-3952.

Psychiatric Services

We offer psychiatric services, including treatment for symptoms that happen during the transplant process, to all of our transplant patients. The transplant psychiatry team talks with all candidates for transplantation and provides follow-up care to address any ongoing problems associated with transplantation. For more information, call Sarah Carpenter, MSN, PMHNP-BC, or Lesley Omary, MD, at (615) 936-3555.

Quality of Life Research

Our Quality of Life and Outcomes Research Group monitors results in terms of quality of life from your perspective. This group also studies patient satisfaction, their return to work and the economic impact of transplantation.

All adult transplant candidates and recipients can participate in this group’s work. Your responses provide useful information about your health-related quality of life, emotional well-being, overall health, return to work and satisfaction with your transplant. This feedback helps us address concerns of transplant patients and their families. Through this process we can promote changes that ensure the best possible results for all.

For more information, contact Irene Feurer, PhD, director of the Quantitative Services and Transplant Outcomes Research at (615) 322-8989.

Return-to-Work Program

Our Return-to-Work Program helps you transition back to your job or a new one after surgery. Going back to work can help you regain your emotional and financial well-being.  We can help you with:

  • Career counseling
  • Job placement
  • Job search and interview skills
  • Resume writing
  • Social Security consulting
  • Vocational evaluation
  • Vocational rehabilitation consulting

For more information, contact Joanne Ball, MST, CVE, ABVE, program director, at (615) 936-3647.

Social Work Services

Social workers with Vanderbilt Transplant Center and the Nashville VA Medical Center meet with you and your family during evaluation for a transplant. We help you develop realistic expectations about the challenges that may arise when you return to your home, your work and your community after your transplant.

Our social workers provide patients with information about:

  • Adjusting to the changes transplant can bring to your life and family
  • Disability
  • Financial difficulties
  • Following your care plan
  • Insurance
  • Taking medication correctly

Contact a social worker with each of these transplant programs:

  • Heart: (615) 936-3500
  • Kidney-pancreas: (615) 936-0695
  • Liver: (615) 936-5321
  • Lung: (615) 936-0393
  • Kidney Living Donor: (615) 936-0695

Transplant Pharmacists

Transplant pharmacists are unique resources for all solid-organ transplant programs. These specialized pharmacists review and monitor your medications. They help you, your caregivers and the transplant staff understand your medications and make sure you know how to take them properly.

To reach our transplant pharmacists:

Heart/Lung

(615) 936-3500 (heart)
(615) 936-0393 (lung)
Kim Boyle, Pharm.D.
Stephanie Heeney, Pharm.D.
Madeline Morrison, Pharm.D.

Kidney-pancreas

(615) 936-0695
Nikita Wilson, Pharm.D., BCPS
Rachael Leek, Pharm.D. 

Liver

(615) 936-5321
Carissa Garza, Pharm.D.
Stephanie Hamel, Pharm.D.