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For Immediate Release

International Group of Pediatric, Adult Transplant Nurses to Hold 11th Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh

Society began in Pittsburgh with first meeting here a decade ago

Transplant nurses from around the world will meet in Pittsburgh next week to discuss the latest issues and innovations in transplant surgery for children and adults.

The International Transplant Nurses Society’s 11th annual symposium and general assembly, “The Art of Transplant Nursing,” will be held at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Downtown Pittsburgh, Wednesday – Saturday, Sept. 18-21, 2002. The society was established in Pittsburgh and held its first-ever annual meeting here in 1992. Many of the event’s speakers are from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh’s Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute.

“This is a great opportunity for nurses from the leading transplant centers in the world to come together in Pittsburgh to share their experiences and learn more about advancements in organ transplantation,” said Beverly Park, MSN, CRNP, clinical nurse specialist in the department of transplant surgery at Children’s Hospital and president-elect of the society.

The society is headquartered in Pittsburgh and has about 1,000 members around the globe, including more than 100 in Pittsburgh, its largest and most active chapter. The society has even drawn the attention of Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy, who has proclaimed Sept. 16-22 “International Transplant Nurses Week” in the city.

Programs during the conference include a daylong workshop on pediatric transplantation that is sponsored by Children’s. Other workshops are planned on adult cardiothoracic transplantation and bedside care for transplant nurses.

The keynote speaker for the four-day conference is Thomas E. Starzl, MD, PhD, professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who is considered by many to be the “modern-day father of transplantation.” In 1981, he came to the University of Pittsburgh to head up what would become the largest and busiest transplant program in the world. In 1996, the university’s expansive clinical and research programs were renamed the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute in his honor.

Other speakers at the conference include: Jorge Reyes, MD, director of pediatric liver and intestine transplantation at Children’s and the Starzl Institute; and Robert P. Casey Jr., state auditor general. Casey’s father, Robert P. Casey Sr., was Pennsylvania governor when he received heart and liver transplants at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. Also, on Friday, an international panel of nurses from New York, the United Kingdom, Japan and Canada are schedule to present “Transplant Nursing: A Transcultural Perspective.”

There also will be breakout sessions focusing on advancements in areas of pediatric and adult transplantation, including ventricular assist devices, rejection drug therapy and living-donor liver transplants. A presentation from a transplant recipient also is planned.

Highlights from the schedule include:

Wednesday, Sept. 18
Workshop #1 – “Red and Blue: The Colors of Cardiothoracic Transplantation”
Workshop #2 – “ABCs of Pediatric Solid Organ Transplantation”
Workshop #3 – “Transplant Nursing101: Bedside Care”
(All workshops begin at 9 a.m. and run until 4:30 p.m.)

Thursday, Sept. 19
9 a.m. opening keynote address by Dr. Thomas E. Starzl
“Organ Induced Tolerance”
Sponsored by SangStat Medical Corporation

10:50 a.m. presentation by Auditor General Robert P. Casey Jr.
“A Family Perspective of Transplantation”

Friday, Sept. 20
10:15 a.m. International Panel
“Transplant Nursing: A Transcultural Perspective” by Douglas R. Armstrong, RN, MS, Clinical Transplant Research Manager, University of Michigan

Editor’s Note: For a complete list of workshops and programs, please contact Children’s Public and Government Affairs Department at 412-692-5016

Marc Lukasiak, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, 412-692-5016,
Lisa Rossi, UPMC Health System, 412-647-3555,

Last Update
February 20, 2008
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Last Update
February 20, 2008