Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, Memorial Regional Hospital Receive Approval For Pediatric, Adult Kidney Transplant Program

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Juan D. Arenas, M.D. Appointed Chief of Pediatric and Adult Surgical Kidney Transplantation and Chief of Memorial Solid Organ Transplant Institute.

The South Broward Hospital District Board of Commissioners has approved the appointment of Juan D. Arenas, M.D. as Chief of Pediatric and Adult Surgical Kidney Transplantation and Chief of Memorial Solid Organ Transplant Institute.

Dr. Arenas is board-certified in general surgery. He earned his medical degree from Escuela Colombiana de Medicina, Bogota, Colombia in 1987. He completed residency training in general surgery at Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine, Hershey, PA, , and a research Fellowship in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. Arenas also completed a Fellowship in Transplantation Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Since 1997, he has held academic and clinical appointments in surgery and transplantation surgery at University of Pennsylvania; Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogota, Universidad El Bosque, and Universidad Javeriana, all in Bogota, Colombia; Pennsylvania State University, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI; and Children's Medical Center, Dallas, TX. Since 2014, Dr. Arenas has held the position of Professor and Chief, Division of Surgical Transplantation/Department of Surgery at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX.

Memorial Regional Hospital (MRH) and Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital (JDCH) submitted a Certificate of Need (CON) application to the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to establish an adult and pediatric kidney transplant programs in June 2015.

In May of 2016, MRH and JDCH received final CON approval to establish adult and pediatric kidney transplant programs. JDCH will now have the only pediatric kidney transplant in Broward County.

“The approval of this program is the culmination of years of strategic planning and fills a need in South Florida for children and adults that will ultimately result in providing a full continuum and seamless type of care,” said Aurelio Fernandez, President and CEO, Memorial Healthcare System. “Like our pediatric and adult heart transplant programs, the kidney transplant programs will provide a lifesaving service in our community for adult patients as well as pediatric patients and their families who otherwise would have to travel outside of the county.”

Currently, MRH provides acute care to adult patients with end stage renal disease until the need for kidney transplantation evaluation is recognized. At JDCH, the Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension Program provides comprehensive and individualized treatment services for children with acute and chronic kidney disorders. Additionally, they offer pediatric dialysis on-site as well as training for home dialysis, if needed.
Dr. Arenas will lead the charge of establishing the kidney transplantation program for MRH and JDCH in the Organ Transplant Service Area defined by AHCA as OTSA 4 which includes Broward, Collier, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties. In the 36 months ended September 30, 2014, adult residents of OTSA 4 received 915 kidney transplants, or 38% of the statewide total. In that time, 141 of the 915 adult kidney transplant recipients who resided in OTSA 4 left their home service area to obtain their transplant during that period. The numbers for pediatric patients are just as comparable.

Having to travel to out of area facilities for their transplants and especially for their post-surgical care disrupts the patient and his/her family in every facet of their lives. Due to the critical nature of the illness, it is imperative that kidney transplant patients have timely access to both inpatient and outpatient services over an extended period of time.

The addition of the adult kidney transplantation programs will provide for seamless, high quality, comprehensive care for the sickest patients and eliminate unnecessary risk. Additionally, as the only pediatric kidney transplant program, JDCH will serve as one of two pediatric kidney transplant programs south of the Orlando/Tampa area.

Memorial Healthcare System is one of the largest public healthcare systems in the country and is a national leader in quality care and patient satisfaction. Its facilities include Memorial Regional Hospital, Memorial Regional Hospital South, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, Memorial Hospital West, Memorial Hospital Miramar, Memorial Hospital Pembroke and Memorial Manor nursing home. The System received the following recognition: Modern Healthcare magazine's “Best Place to Work in Healthcare,” Florida Trend's “Florida's Best Companies to Work For,” and Becker's Hospital Review's “150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare.” For more information, visit

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