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Transplant Team

Organ Transplant Team at Medical City Dallas

Our compassionate care is integrated: our world-class physicians, many with more than 35 years of transplant experience, work closely with a large team of specialists from immunology to surgery to critical care, along with all the specialties and subspecialties in between.

Tollea McMellon, RN

Tollea McMellon, RNTollea serves as the Data Coordinator for the Transplant Program. She is responsible for data collection and presentation to all internal committees and transplant regulatory agencies. Tollea is also responsible for various audit projects required inside the hospital and by external agencies. Tollea has worked in transplant since 1997 and has held heart and LVAD coordinator roles in the past. She has also filled in management roles over the years as the need occurred. Tollea was one of the first nurses hired at Medical City in 1974.

Emilie Burgess, LMSW

Emilie Burgess, LMSWEmilie serves as the Director of Compliance and Development for the Solid Organ Transplant Program. Her responsibilities include oversight of regulatory compliance and quality assurance for the transplant programs. Emilie entered the field of transplantation over a decade ago and has worked in both adult and pediatric transplant in various roles. Emilie earned her Master’s degree in Social Work at UT Arlington. She is a member of the Texas Transplant Society, The National Organization for Transplant Professionals and the American Society of Transplantation and has served on various committees and projects impacting organ donation and transplantation throughout the years. Emilie has a passion for organ donation and transplantation and is honored to be a part of such an amazing gifting process.

Donna Voisard, RN, CCTC, CNN

Donna Voisard, RN, CCTC, CNNDonna serves as the Renal and Pancreas Transplant Supervisor. Donna is responsible for the oversight of the renal/pancreas transplant coordinators, educating and assisting pre-transplant candidates through the evaluation process and maintaining candidates on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) waiting list. She takes call for the transplant team and is available 24/7 during that time to coordinate the transplant process when a donor is accepted by our surgeons. Donna has been a nephrology nurse for 29 years, been in transplant for 14 years and is a member of the Texas Transplant Society. Donna is a Certified Clinical Transplant Coordinator and Certified Nephrology Nurse.

Sheryl V. Louis, MSN, RN, CNN

Sheryl V. Louis, MSN, RN, CNNSheryl is the Pediatric Nephrology Program Coordinator and Pediatric Kidney Transplant Coordinator. In her role she coordinates patient nephrology consults within Medical City Children’s Hospital from various service lines. Sheryl provides education to patients and their families on their disease process, and/or dialysis modalities, and kidney transplant processes. Sheryl provides continuous education for nursing staff to maintain competency to care for pediatric nephrology and transplant patients. Sheryl has been working with pediatric nephrology and transplant patients for 9 years. Prior to that, she spent 6 years working with adult and pediatric dialysis patients. Sheryl is currently in school to obtain Post-MSN Certificate for Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.

Jia Liu, MS, RD, LD

Jia Liu, MS, RD, LDJia is the Transplant Dietitian for the various transplant programs. Jia provides medical nutrition therapy, nutrition support and nutrition education to outpatient and inpatient transplant recipients and donors. She participates in interdisciplinary team work and education of transplant patients and families as well as staff. Jia is a registered dietitian and nutritionist who has been with the Transplant team since January 2007. Jia graduated from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a master’s degree in food and nutrition sciences in May 1997. Jia received the certificate of training in adult weight management in 2008 by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association).

Kimberly Thamban

Kimberly ThambanKim serves as the Team Lead Program Assistant. In this role, Kim supports all transplant programs and patients in all phases of transplant. Kim worked as a Medical Assistant for 30 years after graduating from Community College of Allegheny County with an Associate in Science. Outside of work, Kim enjoys serving her Parish as a Cantor, Kung Fu and being a mom to her three dogs.

Darinka Savor, BSN, RN

Darinka Savor, BSN, RNDarinka is the Ventricular Assist Device Supervisor. In this role Darinka is responsible for daily care and management of patient and program functioning. Darinka is also instrumental in the education of patients and staff on the various heart devices. Darinka has been with HCA since 1998 and Medical City since 2004. In her career she has worked in various settings such as the OR and the ICU. Darinka led the program to successful JCAHO disease certification in 2008 and has helped ensure this certification is approved on a bi-annual basis ever since. She takes an active role in the development of performance improvement and patient care initiatives and is currently enrolled in an adult gerontology acute nurse practitioner program.

Vanessa Kay Taherzadeh, LMSW

Vanessa Kay Taherzadeh, LMSWVanessa is the Heart Transplant/Ventricular Assist Device Social Worker. In this role Vanessa helps bridge the intersection of health and social issues that our patients are forced to deal with. Vanessa performs assessments on all pre transplant and VAD patients and is there to assist all patients throughout all phases of transplant. Vanessa received her Master’s in Social Work at UT Austin.

Rhonda Drew, RN

Rhonda Drew, RNRhonda is the Post Heart Transplant Coordinator. In this role she provides clinical management of post heart transplant patients and donor screening and coordination of the heart transplant procedure. Rhonda has been with Medical City in various nursing roles since 1996. She worked with the Medical City team to assist displaced Hurricane Katrina patients at the Dallas Convention Center. She has also traveled to Christmas Island to help 12 cardiac patients travel to the US for needed cardiac procedures. In 2012 she was encouraged by the late Transplant Supervisor Rhonda Newman R.N. to join the transplant team and is now privileged to work with such a wonderful group of professionals and patients.

Monica Hale, LCSW

Monica serves as the Independent Living Donor Advocate for the Living Kidney Donor Team. In this role, Monica serves to advocate for the best interest of a potential living donor. She works with donors to provide education regarding the donation process through evaluation, surgery and life after donation. Monica has been a social worker for 20 years with most of these years spent working with transplant recipients.

Dianna Greenland, LMSW

Dianna Greenland, LMSWDianna serves as the Renal and Pancreas Transplant Social Worker as well as the Social Work Supervisor. She provides leadership of the Social Work staff ensuring quality and integrity of the care delivered. As the Transplant Social Worker she performs biopsychosocial assessments of the patients to meet their healthcare needs throughout all phases of transplant.

Pat Wilson MBA, BSN, RN

Pat Wilson, MBA, BSN, RNPat is the Assistant Vice President for the Solid Organ Transplant Program at Medical City. Pat is responsible for the program’s compliance and regulatory standards, transplant clinics, program development, care coordination and overall success of the program. Pat has over 20 years of experience in the case management field including both acute care and post-acute care settings and has been with the transplant program since 2013. She is a regular contributor for articles related to case management, readmission strategies, and patient flow. Pat is a member of the Texas Transplant Society.

November Ritchey, RN

November Ritchey, RNNovember has been a part of the Medical City Hospital team for 8 years. She currently serves as a Kidney Transplant Coordinator. Prior to joining the transplant team, November worked with the Pediatric Oncology and Cardiac Stepdown teams. November is a Certified Pediatric Nurse.

Daryl Huilar, RN, BSN, PCCN

Daryl Huilar, RN, BSN, PCCNDaryl serves as the Renal and Pancreas Pre-Transplant Coordinator. In her role she provides clinical management and coordination of the patients being evaluated for kidney and pancreas transplant. Daryl has been a nurse for 15 years and has worked with transplant patients since 2008.

Veronica Villa

Veronica VillaVeronica Villa serves as a Program Assistant for the Transplant team. In this role, Veronica supports all solid organ transplant programs in all phases of transplant. Veronica has a BA in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin and is a Certified Healthcare Access Associate. Prior to joining Medical City she spent 7 years as the Front Office Supervisor for a Maternal/Fetal Medicine Clinic. Veronica is active in the community when not working with transplant patients. She is a member of the Dallas Junior League and volunteers with her sorority alumni association.