UCLA’s Connie Frank Kidney Transplant Center provides comforting setting for patients

Patients of UCLA’s kidney transplant program—already the best of the nation’s largest programs in terms of survival rates—will find comfort and convenience in a state-of-the-art new home thanks to the generosity of philanthropist Connie Frank.

The new Connie Frank Kidney Transplant Center, located in the Peter Morton Medical Building at 200 UCLA Medical Plaza, opened its doors to patients July 13. Housed in an almost 10,000- square-foot space on the building’s fifth floor, the new center replaces the former kidney transplant clinic that was located in a 3,500 square foot suite on the third floor shared with other medical specialties.

Ms. Frank has always had a passion for philanthropy, and it is a value she is instilling in her children and grandchildren. She considered several projects at UCLA to fund and chose the kidney center because of her strong passion for improving the patient experience. The new center will be a comforting place—not just for patients, but for the center’s physicians and support staff as well.

“For me it’s always been about the patients and how to make their experience easier as they go through stressful medical treatment,” she said. “We want the new center to give the patients a sense of care and comfort.”

The new center will give a significant boost to an already strong kidney transplant program, said Dr. John C. Mazziotta, vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences, dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and chief executive officer of UCLA Health.

“Our kidney transplant program has the best three-year survival rate among centers that perform 80 or more procedures a year,” Mazziotta said. “The best kidney transplant program will now have a new home to match its unparalleled excellence.”

The Connie Frank Kidney Transplant Center features:

  • A design allowing for optimum flow of doctors,  nurses, case managers and other staff with patient centered work flow to provide a healing environment using natural light as much as possible.
  • Easily accessible professional staff to address patient questions and concerns
  • On-site blood-draw station
  • Designated work area for clinicians to collaborate and consult on providing optimal patient care
  • Remote consultation with other UCLA clinical and diagnostic services such as radiology and cardiology

The former clinic served more than 11,000 kidney recipients and donors each year. The new center is a much more comfortable, patient-oriented space. More important, the new center offers many of the ancillary services that patients have had to access in other parts of the building, such as infusion stations and an onsite blood-draw station.

This should make for much more efficient operations and convenience for both patient and medical staff, said Dr. Gabriel Danovitch, medical director of the UCLA Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program.

“The new Connie Frank Kidney Transplant Center will have state-of-the-art equipment to care for patients with end-stage renal disease using a multidisciplinary approach,” he said. “It will be designed to provide efficient outpatient care in a patient centered architectural environment. In doing so the clinic will help promote the excellent patient care that is the core mission of the program.”

Ms. Frank’s generosity also helped build the UCSF Connie Frank Transplant Center, completed in 2010.

“UCLA is fortunate that Ms. Frank, who supported the development of a similar, highly successful program at UCSF several years ago, is making it possible for us to have our own state-of-the-art kidney transplant center,” said Dr. H. Albin Gritsch, surgical director of the UCLA Kidney and Pancreas Transplant program.

UCLA Health has provided high quality healthcare and the most advanced treatment options to the people of the greater Los Angeles region and the world for more than 60 years. UCLA Health includes four hospitals on two campuses -- Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center; UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica; Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, and Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA -- and more than 150 primary and specialty offices throughout Southern California. UCLA Health is consistently ranked as one of the top hospitals and the best in the western United States in the national rankings by U.S. News and World Report.

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