(From left) Evan Thompson, Connie Frank and UCLA Health System President Dr. David T. Feinberg survey the construction site.
Patient advocate Connie Frank and her husband Evan Thompson saw the seeds of their generous philanthropy begin to sprout, when UCLA Health started construction on the Connie Frank Kidney Transplant Center at UCLA. With a planned completion date of fall 2014, the new center, housed in the Peter Morton Medical Building (200 UCLA Medical Plaza), will replace the current kidney-transplant clinic in the same building. The new transplant center will have substantially more space, expanding from a 3,500-square-foot shared suite to an approximately 10,000-square-foot suite designated exclusively to the center.
Frank chose to fund the kidney center because of her strong passion for improving the multiple aspects of a patient’s clinic experience. The Connie Frank Kidney Transplant Center will provide a more-comforting and convenient environment by offering many of the supplementary services that patients must now access in other parts of the building, such as on-site blood-draw and infusion stations. “I have always been concerned about the patients and how to make their experiences easier as they go through stressful medical treatments,” Frank says. “We want the new center to give the patients a sense of care and comfort.”
The current clinic serves more than 11,000 kidney recipients and donors each year. The new state-of-the-art facility will significantly raise the bar of an already strong kidney-transplant program. According to David T. Feinberg, MD (RES ’92, FEL ’94), MBA, president of UCLA Health System, UCLA’s kidney-transplant program is recognized as consistently being one of the most successful in the country. Other advanced features of the new center include a nurse manager to address patient questions and concerns, a designated work area for clinicians to collaborate on patient care, select procedures that do not require hospital resources and remote consultation with other UCLA clinical and diagnostic services, such as radiology and cardiology.