Anna wears many hats in her role as a transplant coordinator, but all of her work comes back to one essential question: How can patients get timely and affordable access to the life-saving organ transplants that they need?

Working to answer this question requires Anna to have a kaleidoscopic understanding of community hospitals and physicians, insurer and referral systems. It requires advocacy for organ donation, outreach to patients using easily understandable language, education for transplant nurses, and connections to social workers, office managers, and dialysis centers. If that sounds impossible, Anna’s work demonstrates that it is in fact possible, with her signature grit and determination. 

For instance, during the pandemic, it was difficult to maintain connections with local pulmonologists. Anna was dogged in her outreach. This was particularly important, as some patients with severe Covid-19 incurred lung damage that necessitated transplant. As a result of Anna’s visits with office managers, social workers, insurers and pulmonologists, many patients were referred to Cedars-Sinai for the lung transplants they needed to survive. In fact, Cedars-Sinai provided the most lung transplants due to Covid-19 in the state of California—a 241 percent increase in lung transplantation for the hospital—with excellent survival rates. 

Anna also developed an online referral tool, making it easier for physicians, social workers, and dialysis centers to refer patients who need a transplant. Easier referral means better connections between community providers and Cedars-Sinai, and it also means quicker referral, all of which translates to better outcomes. Anna’s dedication to the transplant process is all in service of longer, healthier lives for patients.