Manager of Clinical Operations, Kidney and Liver Transplant Programs, Penn Transplant Institute

Renee Westmoreland headshot

"Transplant medicine is unique because patients are trading a complex acute medical condition – severe organ disease that requires immediate attention – for a complex chronic medical condition they will manage for the rest of their lives. But for these patients that's a good thing…an AMAZING thing, actually! Because lifelong means LIFE. A life that was only possible through transplant.

Before I took my current administrative position, I worked as a transplant nurse practitioner on the post-liver transplant team. I remember one patient I saw once a week for months after his transplant. He needed help with his medications. He needed a lot of education. He needed someone to listen. I knew his number by heart because he called me so much. But those are the people you can make the biggest difference for – if they didn't have you, who would they turn to?

In my new role, all the kidney and pancreas transplant coordinators, medical assistants and new patient schedulers report to me. Sometimes I miss interacting with patients, but I know I'm still helping them through the people I work with. I can act as a mentor because I've been in their shoes, and I know what it's like to care for patients and deal with some very complex situations.

The gratitude and appreciation from every patient we care for is incredible. It makes me want to come to work every single day knowing I'm making a difference, that my team is making a difference. Because when a transplant patient needs something, they know our team is a phone call away."

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