MUSC Health Florence to add transplant outreach clinic
Patients awaiting transplants received some very good news last week as officials with the Medical University of South Carolina announced the addition a new transplant and specialty outreach clinic to its Florence facility.
During a press conference held Thursday, administrators, doctors, and patients each took turns speaking on the need for transplant services in the Pee Dee Region. Among those speaking during the press conference were MUSC President David J. Cole, MUSC Health Transplants Associate Director Derek DuBay, MUSC Pulmonary Rehabilitation Medical Director Dr. Luca Paoletti, MUSC Health Liver Transplant Surgical Director Jared White, and MUSC Florence Chief Medical Officer Rami Zebian. Transplant patients also had an opportunity to share their experiences and thoughts on the new clinic.
During his opening remarks, Cole said he believes patients will receive the best care when they are closer to home and do not have to travel. He said the clinic alleviates much of the traveling aspect for patients from the Pee Dee.
Since July, some transplant patients from the Pee Dee have been able to receive follow-up transplant care closer to their home at MUSC Health-Florence.
“We are working on what value we can bring to the area in terms of transplant services and care,” Cole said. “As always, we strive for the best care at the least cost.”
DuBay said the Pee Dee has one of the highest rates of kidney failure in the country and that the goal of MUSC and each its outreach clinics is to make it easy for local patients to access care.
“Our patients can walk to the front door and come and it’s really a one-stop-shop where they can get their laboratory, their radiographic study,” DuBay said.
He stated that patients will also have access to telehealth transplant medicine.
DuBay stated that before someone can receive a transplant, they have to undergo an extensive process of lab work. He went on to say patients will still have to do a one-day evaluation in Charleston, but will now be able to complete the majority of their homework in Florence.
“We know that we’re not meeting that need by simply hanging a shingle up and saying if you want what we have come to Charleston and get it,” DuBay said. “We very much want a kidney transplant to be available to everyone not just the haves versus the have nots."
Transplant recipient Estina Greene spoke of what she went through in undergoing a lung transplant in 2017. She said the clinic will be a great blessing to the community.
“I am so thankful for the doctors and nurses at MUSC,” she said. “They really care about you.”