Introducing Alana Goldman – Transplant Manager

3 years 6 months ago #136 by Sarah
Hi everyone!

My name is Alana and I have recently started as the Transplant Manager in the Liver Transplant Unit (LTU). I started in February and have been completely amazed and impressed by the work of the unit ever since starting – I feel very lucky to work with such a passionate, dedicated and expert team!

A bit about me…
I am a physiotherapist who worked in the public health sector in Australia and London for a number of years. I thoroughly enjoyed working with patients to improve their physical function and recovery from hospital. I relatively quickly realised that I wanted a role where I could influence change and lead improvement at a higher ‘system’ level to have an even greater impact. I therefore completed a Master degree in Health Administration to better equip me for the challenges of healthcare management! And here I am .
The world of transplant is new to me, but is already something I am passionate and excited to be a part of. I have had the opportunity to meet patients both pre- and post-transplant and am so pleased to see the positive impact the Liver Transplant Unit has on our patients. I look forward to working with the team and continuing to ensure that we deliver the best care possible now and into the future.

A bit about the role…

The Transplant Manager role is a newly-created role that has been introduced to better support the unit’s operations. It is my role to support the unit run as effectively and efficiently as possible so that we can continue to provide the best care consistently to our patients. While not directly treating patients, I see my job as creating the best work environment for the transplant team (nurses, doctors, admin, allied health, etc), so that they can deliver the best possible care. My job is to make sure we are operating as best possible within the current environment but also be looking to the future and think about what we have to do to be prepared to continue to treat even more patients and continue to provide best-practice and world-class care.

LTU History in the Making – our 30 year anniversary!
It is fitting that this new role has been created so close to the 30-year anniversary of the unit. It is a reflection of the growing work the unit does and an acknowledgement of the success of the unit over the last 30 years. Just a few weeks ago, on June 20, the unit celebrated 30 years since the first liver transplant in 1988. The first transplant patient underwent an epic and risky 16-hour procedure.

Years later, anaesthetist Larry McNicol recalled that “for months he kept pleading with Bob and myself to be our first transplant. He defied all the odds to not only pull through the operation – which included nearly every complication – but to survive a major allergic reaction to one of the immunosuppressive drugs he needed in the postoperative period. He went on to live for 13 years.”

The team has celebrated many more ‘firsts’ over the years – from that first transplant and first paediatric transplant in 1988, the first split liver transplants (where an adult and a child are transplanted from the same donor), the first living-related donor transplant (where part of an adult’s liver is donated to their child) in 2007, and Australia’s first intestinal transplant in both an adult (2010) and a child (2011). In recent years, the team has performed an increasing number of complex, multi-organ transplants.

I would encourage you to read the full article about the anniversary on Austin Health’s Facebook page (see the post from 28 June 2018) – I have been blown away by some of the comments and deep connection this unit has with the whole community.

The team that performed Victoria's first liver transplant 30 years ago this month, including Prof Bob Jones (standing at the back), A/Prof Larry McNicol (far right) and patient Emil (centre, wearing a jumper).

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