18 February 2013

Lung Transplant Program beginning at Spectrum

Story first appeared on WoodTV10 Grand Rapids -

Hospital did first West Michigan heart transplant

Spectrum Health announced today that it has hired Reda Girgis, MD, to serve as medical director for its lung transplant program.  

Girgis comes from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and started last week as a member of the Spectrum Health Medical Group.

Girgis will head a multidisciplinary team that will evaluate recipients for lung transplantation, and provide preoperative and follow-up care.

The hiring comes as Spectrum Health begins to establish its lung transplant program.

Currently there are only two hospitals in Michigan that conduct lung transplants.

Both Henry Ford Hospital and the University of Michigan Medical Center are on the east side of the state.

Spectrum will be the first hospital in West Michigan to join as a lung transplant center.

"We are fortunate to have a physician of Dr. Girgis' ability and stature to head our latest transplant endeavor," said Matthew Van Vranken, executive vice president, Spectrum Health Delivery System.  "He will build another critical service we can provide to the people of West Michigan. His arrival is an important step as we build a regional transplantation program."

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services there are currently more than 1,600 people waiting for lung transplants, 80 here in Michigan.

One of Girgis' primary tasks this summer will be completing applications for both a lung and combined heart-lung transplant program to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), a private, non-profit organization that manages the U.S. organ transplant system. Once the programs receive UNOS approval, Spectrum Health can begin listing patients for these transplants.

Girgis grew up in Grand Blanc, Michigan, and earned his medical degree at the University of Cairo in his native Egypt.

Girgis completed both his internal medicine residency and pulmonary and critical care fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

In addition, he obtained advanced fellowship training in heart-lung and lung transplantation at Stanford University Medical Center in California.  

He is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine and critical care medicine.

 "I am extremely excited to return to my home state and help build a new lung transplant program for the residents of Western Michigan and beyond," said Girgis. "Spectrum Health is a state-of-the-art health care institution with all the necessary elements for a successful program."

Girgis has been at Johns Hopkins since 2000, where he served as associate medical director of lung transplantation and co-director of the pulmonary hypertension program.  

Back in 2010 Spectrum Health preformed the first heart transplant in West Michigan.

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