Mini fellowship at Gift of Life Institute, Philadelphia to improve organ donation and transplantation

Dr. Hemal Kanvinde, Quality Assurance Officer of MOHAN Foundation underwent Gift of Life Institute’s (GOLI) Mini Fellowship in Organ Donation from 28th October 2019 to 7th November 2019 in Philadelphia, USA. The Mini Fellowship was sponsored through an educational grant from MOHAN, USA.

Gift of Life Donor Program, Philadelphia is one of the largest Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) that covers deceased organ and tissue donation in the tristate zone of eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware and southern New Jersey. 

The Mini Fellowship comprised personal interactions, observational learning and one summit.

Personal interactions: Gift of Life Donor Program manages every facet of the donation process, coordinates the recovery of organs and tissues, and allocates the organs to suitable recipients as per UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) allocation policies. Many parts of their work were explained through interactions with the staff.

  • Gift of Life Donor Program - Overview
  • Community Relations & Public Education
  • Transplant Coordinators in Hospital Services Coordinator
  • Family Support Services
  • Donation and Transplant Analysis
  • Transplant Information Centre
  • Transplant Pregnancy Registry

Learning through observation visits: 

  • Meeting with ICU nursing staff after a donation - Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Virtua Memorial Hospital
  • Ms Yolanda Toole, a donor mother, Phildelphia
  • Dr. Edward Hamaty DO, FACCP, FACOI
  • Dr. Joseph Scalea, MD
  • Dr. Donald J. Annino, Jr., MD, DMD
  • Tissue retrieval process - Gift of Life Donor Program, Philadelphia
  • Education of nurses - in Virtua Memorial Hospital
  • Meeting with Donation Champion - a donor mother
  • Sitting in one pathology meeting -Einstein Medical Center

Organ Donation and Transplant Summit:

Dr. Hemal attended a summit at the Gift of Life Institute, Philadelphia. The other delegates were senior transplant nurses, ICU nurses, donor champions from 11 hospitals from the region. 

Speakers were

  1. Ms. Yolanda Toole, a donor mother, Phildelphia
  2. Dr. Edward Hamaty DO, FACCP, FACOI, Chairman, Department of Critical Care Medicine, Atlanti Care Regional Medical Center
  3. Dr. Joseph Scalea, MD, Director of Pancreas Transplantation and Drone Organ Transplantation, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Immunology, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  4. Dr. Donald J. Annino, Jr., MD, DMD, Division of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute Harvard Medical School


It was a daylong summit, to encourage learning and exchange of ideas.  


Gift of Life Family House

During the fellowship, Dr Hemal was housed at the Gift of Life Family House. This is part of the services provided for the transplant patients and their caregivers at affordable prices. It provides lodging, food, transport and other support services.  Volunteers come and prepare hot evening meals for transplant patients and families. Social workers are available for any need of the patient. Medical services are not provided.

The Mini Fellowship was a great learning experience for Dr. Hemal and specially the kindness of Mr. Howard M. Nathan, President and CEO, Gift of Life Donor Program, Ms. Theresa Daly, Director, Gift of Life Institute.

Dr. Hemal thanks MOHAN USA and MOHAN Foundation Chennai for the support to undertake this fellowship.


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