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During a ceremony held Friday, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (MLH) unveiled the name for its Transplant Institute currently under construction in Shorb Tower at Methodist University Hospital. It will now be called the James D. Eason Transplant Institute – named in honor of long-time Memphis transplant surgeon James Eason, MD, who serves as program director of the institute. Eason also serves as University of Tennessee Health Science Center Chief of Transplantation, and he holds the UTHSC Endowed Chair of Excellence in Transplant Surgery.
“I am both humbled and honored to be acknowledged in this way, and I am also proud to be part of building a transplant program that has become a shining beacon of care across the diverse population that we serve,” said Dr. Eason. “With the new, state-of-the-art facility, the Transplant Institute will continue to be a place where patients and families want to receive care.”
Dr. Eason specializes in liver and kidney transplantation with research interests in steroid-free liver transplantation and renal insufficiency in liver transplantation and has led the Transplant Institute at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare for 13 years. Under his leadership, the Transplant Institute performs more than 250 transplants a year, totaling more than 3,000 transplants since the program began, and ranks nationally among the top 20 liver transplant programs by volume. The institute has also added a live donor liver transplant program aimed to shorten the time it takes to receive a transplant from a deceased donor.
“Dr. Eason has helped to build an impeccable team comprised of the most talented and dedicated medical professionals in the country,” said Michael Ugwueke, CEO of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. “As we look to the future of healthcare, especially as it relates to transplant, we are honored to continue our commitment to elevating the care our transplant patients receive.”
The James D. Eason Transplant Institute will be an anchor in the new Methodist University Hospital Shorb Tower and will conveniently consolidate both inpatient and outpatient services to a single location. It will also rely on the latest in innovation and advanced technology as part of a commitment to elevate patient care.
“The Transplant Institute saved my wife’s life twice, and we are incredibly grateful to have received such excellent care right here in Memphis,” Nick Bragorgos, a Methodist Healthcare Foundation board member and husband to wife Emily, a two-time transplant recipient. “Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare treats patients and families with a compassion that is unique. Patients are not just treated, but also cared for. It sets them apart from other hospitals and is something for which we are incredibly grateful.”
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare broke ground on Shorb Tower, named for former CEO Gary Shorb, in 2016. The 450,000 square foot Shorb Tower, expected to be complete this spring, represents a $275 million investment in providing expert care focused on patients, and is one of the largest transformational projects in the history of the Memphis Medical District.
The Transplant Institute was made possible in part thanks to the support of many generous donors to the Methodist Healthcare Foundation. Prior to breaking ground on Shorb Tower, MLH system received a $40 million anonymous donation to be used to transform the Transplant Institute located at Methodist University Hospital and support pioneering research in collaboration with UTHSC.
Renderings provided by archimania, architect for this project.