The George Washington University Hospital, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and The GW Medical Faculty Associates collaborate to fight kidney disease and encourage transplants.
Ron Paul, EagleBank Chairman/CEO and champion for kidney research, understands the benefits of kidney transplants. He’s had two of them. He and wife Joy are helping others in the region through a generous donation that opened the Ron and Joy Paul Kidney Center in November 2015. “Awareness is a big part of our commitment, because so many people suffer who may not have to,” says Paul.
Education and treatment
Besides increasing awareness of kidney disease, a goal of the center is to provide patients with options, including transplantation. “We also promote the paired kidney exchange list to increase live donor matches,” Paul says. Those who receive organs from living donors, according to the National Institutes of Health, tend to have more success with transplants.
A paired kidney exchange makes a transplant possible when a living kidney donor is incompatible with the recipient. Here, an exchange is made with a second donor/recipient pair. Each donor, in turn, gives his or her kidney to the other recipient, and both receive healthy, compatible kidneys.
“Donating a kidney is not as invasive as you might think,” says Paul, whose transplants were with living donors. “My donors are leading healthy, active lives today.”
A passion for helping people
Ron and Joy Paul are working with a clinical team overseen by Keith Melancon, MD, FACS, Professor of Surgery and Chief of the GW Transplant Institute. The team recently performed the institute’s first paired kidney exchange with three donors and three recipients. Transplant surgeons are also transplanting sensitized patients, whose bodies try to fight the transplant. “These innovative services are absolutely needed,” says Dr. Melancon, “because the prevalence of kidney disease is so high in our region.”