The Kidney Transplant Team

Leaders in Kidney Transplant Care

When you are referred to the Massachusetts General Hospital Transplant Center, you will be cared for in a world-renowned hospital. As you move through the transplant process, from evaluation (to determine whether you are a transplant candidate) to organ transplantation, the kidney transplant team of doctors, surgeons, nurses, case managers and other clinicians work together to manage your care at every stage, with the goal of helping you return to a full and productive life.

Scroll through the tiles below to learn more about the team members who will support you during the transplant process and beyond.

Nahel Elias, MD, FACS

Nahel Elias, MD, FACS, surgical director

Kidney Transplant Surgeons

Kidney transplant surgeons such as Nahel Elias, MD, FACS, prepare patients for kidney transplantation, perform kidney transplants and oversee patient care. Your kidney surgeon will manage your care while you are in the transplant unit and during the post-operative period after you leave. Meet our kidney transplant surgeons:

Eliot Heher, MD, medical director

Eliot Heher, MD, medical director


Transplant nephrologists like Eliot Heher, MD, specialize in preparing patients with kidney disease for transplantation and managing their care after transplant. At your first appointment, your transplant nephrologist will help determine whether transplant is your best option and subsequently will work with your primary nephrologist and primary care physician to provide treatment and aftercare. Meet our transplant nephrologists:

Amy Jarry, ANP

Inpatient Care Team

Nurse practitioners (NPs) such as Amy Jarry, ANP, will work with your entire care team throughout your inpatient stay and will help coordinate your outpatient care after you leave the hospital. Case managers will help plan your discharge and arrange your in-home needs, including nursing services, physical or occupational therapy, and rehabilitation. Your case manager will confirm insurance coverage for these services and make sure you have a plan to obtain your prescription medications after you leave the hospital.

Jessica Padelford, RN, practice manager, and Patricia Flaherty, NP

Clinic Staff

The Transplant Clinic cares for patients at every stage of the transplant process. From your first appointment, patient service coordinators work with you and your family to facilitate care prior to transplant surgery as well as follow-up appointments after you are discharged. As part of the clinic, surgeons, medical specialists, nurses and other clinicians follow your care plan closely and monitor your progress, assisting with recovery and medications as you adjust to life with your new organ.

Deborah Whittaker, RN

Transplant Nurses

Mass General was the first hospital in Massachusetts to achieve Magnet status, one of the highest honors for nursing care. You'll receive this award-winning care from nurses such as Deborah Whittaker, RN, who works with your entire care team throughout the transplant process. 

Your nurses have special expertise in treating patients with your specific condition. Post-surgery, they will assist you with activities to increase your endurance. You will also receive long-term support and tools to help you manage your condition and your new organ after you leave the hospital.

Eileen Keegan, LICSW, and Lucia Coale, LICSW

Social Workers

Social workers such as Eileen Keegan, LICSW, work with patients on stress reduction and enhancing quality of life during and after your transplant. They are there for you every step of the way and can connect you with other resources, should you need them.

Jessica Witchey, RD, LDN


Proper nutrition is an important part of staying healthy before and after an organ transplant. As part of your care team, Mass General transplant dietitians such as Jessica Witchey, RD, LDN, provide nutritional guidance to you before and after surgery. Our dieticians work with you to develop a personalized diet plan, answer your nutrition questions, and help you deal with medication side effects such as appetite changes, weight loss or weight gain.

Ellen Babine

Financial Coordinators

Navigating health insurance policies and other paperwork related to organ transplantation can be overwhelming. Mass General transplant financial coordinators such as Ellen Babine are available to answer questions about medical insurance coverage and transplant-related charges.

They also work with your insurance company to authorize treatment during each phase of the transplant process and help you coordinate other options, if needed. This level of support allows you to focus on what is most important—your health.

Camille Kotton, MD

Infectious Disease Specialists

Mass General transplant infectious disease specialists, including Camille Kotton, MD, work with your transplant team to develop a personalized strategy to help prevent infection when your ability to fight infection has decreased, and to treat any infections that develop.

Meet our infectious disease specialists:

Nick Kontos, MD


Our psychiatrists such as Nick Kontos, MD, specialize in helping transplant patients adjust to life with their new organ and cope with physical and emotional changes they may experience after surgery.

Meet our psychiatrists:


Thais Gift, PharmD, and Sarah Shao, PharmD


You will need to take immunosuppressive drugs to keep your body from rejecting your new organ. Our pharmacists, including Thais Gift, PharmD, and Sarah Shao, PharmD, help transplant patients manage their medications after surgery and can answer any questions you may have about your drug regimen.

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