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Spanish Only Please: Special Latino Clinic Launched for Potential Abdominal Transplant Patients

Entire Staff Speaks Spanish at New Montefiore Medical Center Program

New York City, NY (February 24, 2010) - Latinos in the Bronx and Westchester who have organ failure (kidney, pancreas or liver) now have the option of attending a Montefiore Medical Center specialty clinic on Thursdays, when the entire medical staff is fluent in Spanish. 

"We established this unique Latino day at the Montefiore-Einstein Abdominal Transplant Center to help our Spanish-speaking patients understand the transplant procedure more thoroughly.  I hope that it will give them a degree of comfort during a stressful time," said Javier Chapochnick Friedmann,  MD, a native of Chile who joined Montefiore in 2008 as an Assistant Professor of Surgery and director of the pancreas transplant program at Montefiore.  "We have a full day of patient education classes and medical evaluations that is the same as on other days at the Transplant Center; the only difference is that all the surgeons, nephrologists, nurses, nutritionists, financial and transplant coordinators speak Spanish."  In addition, all educational materials and handbooks and are offered in Spanish.

According to Milan Kinkhabwala, MD, Professor of Surgery and director of the Montefiore-Einstein Abdominal Transplant Center, a day dedicated only to Spanish speaking transplant patients is unique in the Metro New York area, and one that is long overdue.  "This reflects our commitment to our community and to ensuring the best possible results for our patients," said Dr. Kinkhabwala.  "I hope that all our Spanish speaking patients take advantage of this opportunity."  Since its inception in November, 2009 the Latino day at the Transplant Center has grown in popularity as word has spread:  the clinic now sees up to 20 patients on any given Thursday.  

The most recent faculty recruitment at the Transplant Center brings yet another native Spanish speaker:  Graciela De Boccardo, MD, a transplant nephrologist who is a native Argentine.  Dr. De Boccardo will be partnering with Dr. Chapochnick Friedmann in the Latino day at the Transplant Center. 

Spanish-speaking patients are also always welcome to attend the transplant evaluation sessions any day of the week, when English is spoken.   All patients are seen in a brand new suite of offices at the Moses campus of Montefiore, on Rosenthal 2.   Patients who call the general number for the Montefiore-Einstein Abdominal Transplant Center (877.287.3536 for kidney or 877 RXLIVER for liver) will be asked if they would prefer to listen to the phone information in Spanish or English.  If they choose Spanish, they can be referred to the Latino clinic on Thursdays.

Given the success of the Thursday kidney and pancreas clinics, Dr. Chapochnick Friedmann hopes to soon expand the Latino day concept to liver transplant patients as well.  

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