Building the team beyond surgeons

From the Winter 2018 edition of Vanderbilt Medicine Magazine

The infrastructure of the Vanderbilt Transplant Center (VTC) allows for an interdisciplinary environment that creates a culture of teamwork and enhanced communication among all members of the transplant service, said Ed Zavala, administrator for VTC.

The complex nature of transplantation requires significant attention to all aspects of transplantation, including business and administrative issues. Vanderbilt’s focus on ancillary transplant personnel has led to three unique training programs — a transplant pharmacist post graduate year 2 (PGY2) residency, a transplant administrator fellowship and a nurse practitioner fellowship.

VTC, in partnership with the Department of Pharmacy, established the PGY2 residency program in 2006. The program is in high demand from pharmacists that desire specialty training.

Vanderbilt continues to be the only center in the country with a transplant administrator fellowship. It was started in 2011. The nurse practitioner training program began in 2017 and offers a one-year fellowship to  prepare nurses to provide quality, evidence-based patient care.

VTC also offers multidisciplinary research opportunities that incorporate pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers and dietitians.

“It’s a unique approach,” said Zavala. “It’s not just physician-led or driven by the surgeons. It’s a collaborative effort among the entire team and an integral component in the continued success of the Transplant Center.”