Transplant Support Services

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

Financial Counseling

Financial considerations are an important part of the transplant process. 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. Our transplant financial counselors can be reached between 8 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call:

Heart-Lung: Lori Russell at (615) 343-2003
Heart-Lung: Lisa Conyer at (615) 343-4927
Kidney-Pancreas: Renee Allison at (615) 875-3089
Kidney-Pancreas: Beth Goodrich at (615) 322-0684
Liver: Lisa Conyer at (615) 343-4927
Liver: Lori Russell at (615) 343-2003

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

Infectious Disease Program

Vanderbilt's Transplant Infectious Disease Program is an integral component in the continued success of the Vanderbilt Transplant Center. We have full-time infectious disease doctors devoted to this program. These doctors make daily rounds on the transplant units at Vanderbilt and the Nashville VA Medical Center.

Psychiatry

As a transplant patient, you will receive psychiatric services, including treatment for symptoms that happen during the transplant process. 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, contact: 

  • Director: Karen Starr, MSN, APRN-BC, LADAC, MAC
    (615) 936-2404 (To leave a voice mail)
    (615) 936-3555 (To make an appointment)
  • Lesley Omary, MD
    (615) 936-2404

Quality of Life Research

Vanderbilt Transplant Center's Quality of Life and Outcomes Research Group monitors results that are reported from your perspective, such as quality of life. This group also studies patient satisfaction with the program, return to employment 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 employment and satisfaction with your transplant. This feedback helps us address specific 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, Ph.D., Director, Quantitative Services and Transplant Outcomes Research at (615) 322-8989.

Return-to-Work Program

One of the greatest challenges transplant patients face is returning to work. The Vanderbilt Return-to-Work Program can help you transition back to employment after your surgery. We can assist you with:

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

Going back to work can help you complete the transplant recovery process, restoring your emotional and financial well-being. For more information, contact Joanne Ball, MST, CVE, ABVE, program director, at (615) 936-3647.

Social Work

When you are evaluated as a potential transplant recipient, social workers with Vanderbilt Transplant Center and the Nashville VA Medical Center work with you and your family. We help you develop realistic expectations about the challenges that may arise when you transition back to home, to work and to your community. Our social workers provide patients with information related to:

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

To contact a social worker in one of our solid organ programs, call:

  • Heart: Sarah Andrus, L.C.S.W. (615) 936-2019
  • Heart (Nashville VA Medical Center): Patricia Coffee, L.C.S.W. (615) 327-4751, ext. 6177
  • Kidney: Fara Alviri, M.S.S.W., LAPSW – (615) 875-2882
  • Kidney: Mary Schaefer, L.C.S.W. – (615) 343-1063
  • Kidney (Nashville VA Medical Center): Katrina Stokes, L.C.S.W. – (615) 327-4751, ext. 6177
  • Liver: Erik Lillie, L.C.S.W. – (615) 936-5321
  • Liver: Tisha Longo, L.M.S.W. – (615) 936-1323
  • Liver (Nashville VA Medical Center): Patricia Coffey, L.C.S.W. – (615) 873-7633
  • Lung: Anne Schmitt, L.C.S.W. – (615) 936-0398

Transplant Pharmacists

Transplant pharmacists are unique resources for all solid organ transplant programs. A transplant pharmacist will review and monitor your medication therapy. This specialized pharmacist helps you, your caregivers and the transplant staff understand your medications. Transplant pharmacists also ensure you know how to take your medications properly. To reach our transplant pharmacists, call:

  • Heart: Kim Boyle, Pharm.D.  (615) 343-1437
  • Heart-Lung: Jennifer Gray, Pharm.D.  (615) 936-5334
  • Kidney-Pancreas: Nikita Wilson, Pharm.D., BCPS – (615) 936-3827 
  • Liver: Carissa Garza, Pharm.D.  (615) 936-0557
  • Transplant Pharmacy Resident: Samantha Kush, Pharm.D.  (615) 322-2182