LOUISVILLE, Ky. – UofL Health is proud to usher the history-making transplant program at UofL Health– Jewish Hospital into a new era, with new leadership and renewed commitment to saving lives through transplant innovation.
Kimberly Rallis will join the team as executive director of the Transplant Program at UofL Health – Jewish Hospital. Rallis currently serves on the national Board of Directors for the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing (OPTN/UNOS) as the patient and donor affairs representative. She brings more than 20 years of experience in transplant, from both clinical and consulting roles. Rallis is a nationally sought-after speaker specific to transplant finance and operations.
“I’m excited to join an organization with such a strong commitment to organ transplantation,” said Rallis. “UofL Health – Jewish Hospital Transplant Care is well known for its compassion, innovation and clinical expertise. That combined with the strong dedication from clinicians, support staff, and UofL Physicians, confirmed to me we are well-positioned to save more lives.”
Beyond credentials, Rallis’ leadership and passion is drawn from a deeply personal perspective as a donor family. Twelve years ago, her mother’s organs were donated upon her passing. And while she celebrates one uncle giving the gift of life by donating a kidney for transplant, she’s mourned the loss of another uncle who died while waiting for a lifesaving heart transplant.
“Kim’s personal experiences and national expertise make her ideal to enhance the positive momentum in our transplant program,” said UofL Health CEO Tom Miller. “We understand the significance of the transplant program to our community and the region. It had a major influence in our decision to expand UofL Health and it’s why we recruited Kim.”
Jewish Hospital Transplant Care celebrated 55 years of service in 2019, with more than 5,200 lives saved through the miracle of organ transplantation. In addition to performing the world’s most successful hand transplant in 1999, physicians through Jewish Hospital have performed many other milestone procedures, including Kentucky’s first adult heart transplant, Kentucky’s first double-lung transplant, and Kentucky’s first dual heart/lung transplant. Last year, the team celebrated the facility’s 300th lung transplant and 500th heart transplant, and in 2017 set an all-organ record, with 187 total organs transplanted. The program is one of an elite few in the nation that is approved to perform all five solid organ transplants. The growth comes as the program continues to improve access, seeing patients closer to home with three outreach clinics in the state: Crestview Hills, Bowling Green and Henderson.
In addition to her work with the OPTN/UNOS board, Rallis volunteered for numerous transplant committees, including work for the National Kidney Registry and the Kidney Foundation of Central Pennsylvania. She is looking forward to her relocation to the Bluegrass state with her husband, two children and three horses. Rallis has also done significant work with an equine therapy company she owns, specifically in the area of autism.
Rallis will begin her role on Feb. 10, 2020.