St. Louis, Missouri (February 6, 2020) — In an exclusive and distinctive collaboration, SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis, Mid-America Transplant and the SSM Health Saint Louis University School of Medicine joined together to create a new endowed chair in honor of abdominal transplantation. This endowed chair made possible through a philanthropic gift from Mid-America Transplant will support the work of Krista Lentine, M.D., Ph.D. medical director of Living Donation and Co-Director of Clinical Research at the SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital Transplant Center. Dr. Lentine earned her medical degree and completed medicine residency, nephrology fellowship, and a master’s in epidemiology at Stanford University. She completed fellowship training in transplantation at Washington University and earned a Ph.D. in Health Services Research at Saint Louis University.
Over the years, Dr. Lentine has established a reputation as one of the country’s top medical experts in the field of transplantation. She has helped grow the transplant program at SSM Health SLU Hospital by advancing research in transplant data science, clinical epidemiology and health economics. Prospective observational work includes active projects in genetic risk assessment including a partnership with Mid-America Transplant as well as clinical trials. Dr. Lentine is actively involved in national and state advocacy initiatives for transplant donors and recipients.
An endowed chair is among the highest honor bestowed upon clinical scientists and gives outstanding researchers and clinicians the ability to pursue groundbreaking work that helps them develop better treatments and technology. “I am humbled by Mid-America Transplant’s generous gift that allows our team the ability to continue treating individuals living with transplant needs. This gift will ensure that patients receive the best treatment available and quality of life possible,” says Lentine.
Ms. Jane Beckman, a living donor for whom the endowed chair is named after, is a St. Louis native and Communications Director at the Saint Louis Crisis Nursey. Jane’s call to transform the lives of others through organ donation began when she read a newspaper article about a man who had donated a kidney to a stranger. Jane’s left kidney was safely removed and successfully transplanted into a patient on the waiting list on May 28, 2018. Since Jane’s surgery at SSM Health SLU Hospital, she has been a passionate advocate for organ transplantation.
SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis hosted a Celebration of Philanthropy event on Tuesday, February 4, recognizing the Mid-America Transplant Jane Beckman Endowed Chair gift made by Mid-America Transplant. President and CEO of Mid-America Transplant, Diane Brockmeier, shared that the organization is making this unprecedented gift with a responsibility and a privilege to honor the heroic and selfless gifts of organ and tissue donors. “We believe the most important way we can honor the heroic and selfless gifts of organ and tissue donors is through intentional stewardship of those gifts" she said. "We are honored to support SSM Saint Louis University Hospital through the Mid-America Transplant/Jane Beckman Endowed Chair. This collaboration ensures that right here in our own community we have world class medical professionals like Dr. Lentine working each day to save more lives through organ donation and transplant care.”
The Transplant team at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital provides a full range of medical and surgical services for patients with end-stage renal disease and liver disease. With a long-standing history of medical excellence, SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital provides compassionate and state-of-the-art care for patients with organ failure.
The ever-changing field of organ transplantation poses significant challenges and even greater opportunities when it comes to saving lives. The world-class transplant program directed by Henry Randall, M.D., Division Chief of Adult Abdominal Transplantation and Surgical Director of Liver Transplantation showcases the power of an academic health system. “When you have physicians working side-by-side with medical researchers and students, everyone benefits,” said Dr. Henry Randall, who serves on the Board for both SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis and Mid-America Transplant. “Our transplant program is a great example of a mission in action and I am so thankful for our amazing team and for Mid-America Transplant’s generous investment in our mission.” SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital’s Liver Transplant Program performed 112 transplants in 2019.
The gift made by Mid-America Transplant brings SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis closer to reaching its fundraising goal as part of the organization’s SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital campaign. The campaign supports the Mid-America Transplant Jane Beckman Endowed Chair in support of the Transplant Center at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital and ensures Dr. Lentine has the resources to continue her innovative work.
“We are overwhelmed with gratitude to Diane Brockmeier and Mid-America Transplant,” says Paul Ross, president of SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis. “Endowments have the ability to leave a lasting legacy and this particular gift by Mid-America Transplant will certainly impact people throughout the state and beyond for a very long time.”
To learn more about giving options, supporting the SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital campaign, go to https://www.givetossmhealth.org/donate-slu-hospital/ or call 314-523-8044.
About SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis
SSM Health Foundation – St. Louis, launched in 2018, is a 501(c)3 courageously serving the needs of St. Louis, St. Charles and Metro East by seeking financial support for SSM Health hospitals in the region: SSM Health DePaul Hospital – St. Louis, SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, SSM Health St. Clare Hospital - Fenton, SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital – Lake Saint Louis, SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital – St. Charles, SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital – Wentzville, and SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital – St. Louis. The Foundation supports vital patient-centered programs and campaigns to sustain the SSM Health mission, “through our exceptional health care services, we reveal the healing presence of God” providing benefactors with opportunities to turn their philanthropic investment into meaningful impact. For more information, visit givetossmhealth.org or find us on Facebook and LinkedIn.
About Mid-America Transplant
For 45 years, Mid-America Transplant has facilitated and coordinated organ and tissue donation, and now serves 84 counties covering eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and northeast Arkansas that together are home to 4.7 million people. It saves lives by providing expert and compassionate care for organ donors, donor families, and recipients, and transforms the clinical processes required to recover and transplant organs and tissues. Mid-America Transplant is federally designated as one of 58 such organizations in the U.S. and is the first organ and tissue procurement organization to be recognized as a recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for Performance Excellence. For more information, visit www.midamericatransplant.org.