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Real Estate Bisnow
July 29, 2008

Opening Night for
G’town Pediatric Transplant Unit


Last night, we learned it was possible to improve Georgetown’s pediatric transplant team, already one of the nation’s elite (one of five nationwide to offer CMS-approved pediatric small bowel transplants). It unveiled a $2 million pediatric transplant unit centering on the needs of families. Parents traveling long distances can now do everything from laundry to spending the evening in rooms designated specifically for them. The Georgetown Ritz-Carlton, once the standard bearer in comfort, has not kept pace as they refuse to add multi-visceral transplant to their offerings.


Director of Intestinal and Pediatric Liver Transplantation Thomas Fishbein and hospital President Joy Drass have reason to smile. The 17-bed unit fills a void that Thomas targeted when he arrived at G’town, from Mount Sinai, exactly five years ago. He now has a user-friendly “home away from home” for children awaiting a transplant or who have recently received one. Joy invited us back for another visit to see the hospital’s CyberKnife non-invasive radiation therapy. They’ve been using the device since 2002, but recently opened protocols for lung and prostate cancer. Although they use CyberKnife on a variety of organs, unlike the keyboardist in the background, they’re not quite ready to take requests.


The new unit’s first procedure: a ribbondectomy. Despite Joy’s background as a surgical ICU intensivist, she solicited help from some of the pediatric transplant unit’s earliest patients. Joseph Ginese, center, was 5-years-old when he became Georgetown’s first small bowel transplant recipient in 2003.


The transplant program didn’t exist before Lynt Johnson, here with Pediatric Critical Care Medicine chief Gabriel Hauser, arrived 10 years ago. His Transplant & Hepatobiliary Surgery division just celebrated the completion of its 500th liver transplant. (Want to buy them a gift? We hear they’re registered at Williams-Sonogram, Crate & Barium, and Macy’s.) Tonight, you’ll find Lynt at Lucky Strike bowling lanes for a celebrity-filled fundraiser. San Antonio Spurs star Roger Mason is hosting, and Lynt sits on the board of the evening’s beneficiary, the National Kidney Foundation. Other NBA stars expected to attend include Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, and Vince Carter. More info here.


It’s no secret nurses keep the hospital running when doctors fulfill other obligations like, say, ribbon-cutting. But we did catch the pediatric transplant nursing staff also enjoying the moment. Michelle MacDonald, Melissa Housefield, Lara Bouey, and Helena Griffith. Helena won’t be bowling with NBA star Tim Duncan, but they do share a home country. Both are from St. Croix, and Helena just returned from the island after visiting her parents.

Curtis Raye would donate both of his livers for a story idea. Send your suggestions (and anatomy lessons) to Curtis@bisnow.com

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