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Life and Lung Transplantation in the Washington Area

June Kim, MD
University of Maryland
Baltimore, MD, USA

The Lung Transplantation community in the Maryland-Washington DC is exemplified by a spirit of collaboration among regional Transplant organizations and physicians on behalf of patients with Advanced Lung Disease.

The University of Maryland Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Hospital recently joined forces as an approved Care Center Network (CCN) site for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. "The joint collaborative CCN site allows for an even more robust multi-disciplinary approach, taking advantage of each institution's unique areas of expertise to advance the care of individual patients, and to hopefully advance overall understanding of pulmonary fibrosis syndromes", explained Dr. Nevins Todd co-director of the program.

Along the same lines, in the research arena, the advent of the NIH consortium is a new model for the collaborative bench to bedside research in heart and lung transplantation. Multiple programs in the region have joined this initiative and some of the preliminary findings of this joint effort will be featured at the ISHLT meeting in April 2016.

As junior faculty at the University of Maryland Lung Transplant, it has been privilege to work with my team, a group with a long history of challenging traditional concepts of lung transplant. We serve as the epicenter for the Multicenter Normothermic Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion NOVELL Trial and have one of the largest ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) groups in the nation. In 2014, the Lung Rescue Unit (LRU) was established at our Shock Trauma Center to service the needs of patients dying from Advanced Lung Disease, ARDS, or those requiring ECMO bridge to transplantation in our region. We have the capability to triage and transport extremely sick patients within Maryland and beyond state borders, and provide lung transplantation effectively with short wait-list times and superior one year lung transplant survival. Over the next few years our team will focus on building outreach programs that provide transplant care to patients at geographic disadvantage in our State through telemedicine and tele-monitoring.

As you see, collaboration is at the core of the programs in this region.

As far as the unique features of living and working in the Washington DC -Baltimore area, to quote Dan brown, the author of the Da Vinci Code, "Washington, D.C., has everything that Rome, Paris and London have in the way of great architecture - great power bases. Washington has obelisks and pyramids and underground tunnels and great art and a whole shadow world that we really don't see." In no other region of our country are the issues of our Nation so intimately reflected in the fabric--and traffic patterns--of our daily lives. It is a region rich with history, diversity, and culture. Every weekend adventure in DC can be catered to your varied interests with diverse museum tours, monuments, shows, grand festivals, live music, divine restaurants and dance floors. Inevitable during your adventures, you will be greeted by reminders of the events of American history, and the forefathers, soldiers, leaders and famous/infamous characters that have crossed the same thresholds. Spending five quiet minutes in the Lincoln Memorial is a very profound American experience that I highly recommend.

Personally as a lifetime New Yorker adopting a new hometown in Baltimore, I also encourage you to experience Baltimore's beautiful waterfronts, boat shows/events, street festivals, exhilarating sporting and music events, and renegade art scenes. The issues affecting our urban communities are palpable in everything that is Baltimore. This, as much as all the historic sites and scenic backdrops, is part of our fascinating changing identity. The growth and development of our city has been happening in leaps and bounds

We look forward to sharing our community with our ISHLT colleagues and guests in April 2016. ■

Disclosure Statement: The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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