Georgia Regents Medical Center Kidney Recipient Team in Augusta, Georgia

The Georgia Regents Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program is staffed by a dedicated team of transplant surgical and medical specialists.

Practice Site Leaders

The Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program physicians and staff are committed to making your health care experience convenient and problem-free. Please contact any of the leaders below if you need assistance before, during or after your visit with us. Simply call 706-721-2888.

Constance Haney, MSN, CNMT Christina Wiggins, RN, CCTC, MBA
Constance Blankenship, MSM, FACHE, CNMT
Business Manager
Christina Wiggins, RN, CCTC, MBA
Clinical Transplant Administrator

Physicians

A Transplant Surgeon will perform your kidney or kidney/pancreas transplant surgery.  The surgeon will work jointly with the transplant nephrologist to oversee your care during your hospital stay.  The transplant surgeon will also oversee your pre-transplant evaluation.

Dr. Todd Merchen is the program director and joined the program in 2007.  He completed his transplant surgery training at the University of Cincinnati and was director of the kidney transplant program in Spokane, Washington prior to coming to GRHealth.  In addition to kidney and pancreas transplantation, he specializes in laparoscopic nephrectomy, hepatobiliary surgery, and vascular access. Todd Merchen MD
Dr. James Wynn   joined GRHealth as a transplant surgeon in 1987 after completing his transplant surgery training at the University of Florida. His surgical interests include kidney and pancreas transplantation and dialysis access. He is also past president of the UNOS Board of Directors.  Dr. Wynn serves as the surgical residency program director.    Dr. 
Dr. James Wynn
Dr. Jason Rolls joined GRHealth as a transplant surgeon in 2012 and completed his transplant surgery fellowship training at The New York Presbyterian Hospital.  Prior to coming here, he was a member of the Pitt County Memorial Hospital transplant team affilliated with East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Dr. Jason Rolls

A Transplant Nephrologist will work with the surgeon to oversee your medical care during your hospital stay following transplant.  After discharge, the nephrologist will provide follow-up care in the Post-Transplant Medicine Clinic.  The GRHealth transplant nephrologist will also ensure that you continue to see your primary nephrologist, so you can receive much of your follow-up care in your local community and have easy access to a knowledgeable physician at home when problems arise.

Dr. Carlos Zayas joined the GRHealth Transplant Program in 2013.  He performed his transplant residency and fellowship at Emory University and previously served as medical director for the abdominal transplant program for Piedmont Healthcare.  He is the associate program director and medical director of the program.  Dr. Carlos Zayas
Dr. Laura Mulloy completed her training at GRHealth in 1989 and is currently the assistant director of transplant nephrology and chief of the Section of Nephrology, Hypertension and Transplant Medicine in the Department of Medicine.
 Dr. Laura Mulloy
Dr. Muralidharan Jagadeesan joined the program in 1997.  "Dr. J" completed his transplant nephrology fellowship in Toronto prior to coming to GRHealth.
 Dr. Muralidharan Jagadeesan
Dr. Luis Ortiz came to GRHealth in 2002 after completing his pediatric nephrology training at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.  Dr. Ortiz is the acting chief of the Section of Pediatric Nephrology in the Department of Pediatrics.
 Dr. Luis Ortiz
Dr. Obioma Nwobi joined the Pediatric Transplant program in October 2007.  He completed his pediatric nephrology training at the University of Miami prior to coming to Children’s Hospital of Georgia.
 Dr. Obiama Nwobi

Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners

Physician Assistants (PA-C) and Nurse Practitioners (NP) practice medicine under the supervision of a licensed physician. During your pre-transplant evaluation visit, the physician assistant or nurse practitioner will perform a complete medical history and physical exam.  Following transplant, the physician assistant or nurse practitioner will work closely with the transplant nephrologists to provide follow-up care in the adult post-transplant clinic.

Bill Wolff, PA-C joined the transplant program in August 1983 after graduating from the Medical College of Georgia Physician Assistant program and has worked in different capacities, most of the time with evaluation of patients referred for kidney transplant consideration.
Bill Wolff, PA-C
R. Scott Smith, FNP-C joined the transplant program in September 2010.  He is a BSN graduate of the Medical College of Georgia and MSN/FNP graduate of University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Scott is currently FNP-C board certified. R. Scott Smith, FNP-C
Amy Cohan, NP-C joined the transplant program after completing a postmasters adult nurse practitioner program at Armstrong Atlantic State University.  She received her Masters in cardiovascular nursing from University of Washington and has worked in a variety of medical, surgical and critical care settings as a staff nurse, clinical researcher and educator.  While teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, Amy gained extensive experience with heart, lung, and kidney transplant patients. Amy Cohan, NP-C

Transplant Coordinators

A Pre-Transplant Coordinator is a specially-trained registered nurse who will coordinate work-up activities related to your evaluation as well as help you stay ready for transplant while waiting for a kidney or kidney/pancreas.  The Pre-Transplant Coordinator will also serve as a liaison between you and the rest of the transplant team.

Barbara Gilmore Lynn Joyner Tonia Ryll Amanda Wright
Barbara Gilmore,
RN, CCTC
Lynn Joyner,
RN, CCTC
Tonia Ryll,
RN, BSN, CCTC
Amanda Wright,
RN, BSN, CCTC

A Post-Transplant Coordinator is a specially-trained registered nurse who works closely with transplant nephrologists to provide follow-up care in the adult post-transplant clinic.

Dee Hawkins
Dee Hawkins,
RN, BSN, CCTC
Paul Beck,
RN, CCTC

A Satellite Clinic Transplant Coordinator is a specially-trained registered nurse who works closely with the satellite clinic nurse practitioner and physicians during your evaluation day visit or post-transplant follow-up appointment.

Jeanine Davis, RN
Jeanine Davis, RN

Pharmacists

A Pharmacist will help you understand the role, dosages, and side effects of medicines you will be taking after transplant.  Additionally, the MAP pharmacist can connect you with resources to help offset the cost of medicines.

Dr. Gene McGinty Donna Vasil, PharmD

Gene McGinty, RPh
University of Georgia Medication Access Program

Donna Vasil, PharmD

Social Workers

A Social Worker will meet with you during the evaluation visit to discuss and help plan for social issues that may arise once you are transplanted, such as accessibility to healthcare, family support, and financial resources.  After transplant, a social worker can connect you with resources such as transportation and medication assistance, as well as facilitate your transition back to work.

Debra Hartshorn Gloria Taylor Marilyn Williams, LCSW
Debra Hartshorn, SW Gloria Taylor, LMSW Marilyn Williams, LCSW

Financial Coordinators

A Transplant Financial Coordinator will assess your medical insurance coverage prior to evaluation and assist with financial planning for your surgery and post-transplant medications.

Rebecca Bold [No photo available] [No photo available] Ada Brownson

Rebecca Bold
Financial Coordinator

Sharlynda Lewis
Financial Coordinator

Melanie Williford
Financial Coordinator

Ada Brownson
Fundraising Coordinator

 

Administrative Professionals

An Administrative Professional will contact you to schedule your pre-transplant orientation and evaluation appointments as well as assist the post-transplant coordinators with your follow-up care.

Donna Coleman
Kay Simon
Administrative Secretary
Debbie Bailey
Orientation Secretary
Donna Coleman
Evaluation Secretary
[No photo available] [No photo available]
Cynthia Smith
Pre-Transplant
Support Secretary
Moises Caballero
Pre-Transplant
Support Secretary
Symyra Gilbert
Post-Transplant
Secretary