Kidney Transplant

September 19, 2017


The Memorial Transplant Institute in South Florida has received federal approval from UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) to launch an adult and pediatric kidney transplant program at Memorial Regional Hospital and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood.

The Institute also received approval to establish a living donor kidney recovery component, including open and laparoscopic nephrectomies. The kidney programs will also offer cadaveric kidney transplants, pediatric kidney transplants and living donor kidney transplant. 

“This is a momentous occasion for the team, who has worked diligently to create a program of the caliber required for heart and kidney transplantation,” said Juan D. Arenas, MD, who serves as the institute’s chief. “We also believe it is great news for the South Florida community and the patients and families we have the pleasure to serve.”

To date, Memorial has performed 20 adult heart transplants since 2014. Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital has performed 36 pediatric heart transplants since 2010.

“The Institute’s highly skilled, multidisciplinary team raises the bar even higher on heart and kidney care in the community,” said Zeff Ross, Executive Vice President, Memorial Healthcare System and CEO, Memorial Regional Hospital

The UNOS approval now clears the path for Arenas and his team to perform the first kidney transplant in the two hospital’s history. Fernando Pedraza, MD, will head the adult kidney program as its medical director while Alex Constantinescu, MD, is the medical director for the pediatric program.

Both physicians will lead the management of kidney transplant patient care before and after transplant.

“Kidney transplantation demands a comprehensive team effort,” Dr. Pedraza explained. “Beyond the physicians, we’re fortunate to have a team of high caliber, dedicated nurses, intensivists, perfusionists, and laboratory medicine experts – all levels of patient care – who are helping us make this dream a reality.”

Offering pediatric and adult kidney care services under one Institute is a benefit to the community.

“Whether you are a child or an adult, Memorial is now in the position to offer total heart and kidney care to patients who requires this high level of care,” Constantinescu said.

UNOS Kidney

Video: Juana Arenas, MD, speaks about what the approval means to the South Florida community.