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Format: 04/18/2014
Format: 04/18/2014


AGH Cardiologist Appointed to Health and Human Services Committee on Organ Transplantation

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Raymond L. Benza, MD, a nationally recognized heart failure and heart transplantation specialist at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), has been appointed by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to serve as a member of the national Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation . 

Dr. Benza, who is director of the Heart Failure, Transplant, Mechanical, Circulatory Support and Pulmonary Hypertension Program at  AGH’s Gerald McGinnis Cardiovascular Institute, will serve a three year term on the Committee beginning this month.

As a member of the Committee, Dr. Benza will help direct HHS efforts to enhance the public’s confidence in the integrity and efficacy of the country’s organ procurement and transplantation system by ensuring that it is as equitable and effective as possible and grounded in the best available medical science.

The Committee is comprised of approximately 25 non-governmental professionals with diverse backgrounds in fields such as organ donation, health care public policy, law and bioethics, transplantation medicine and surgery, critical care medicine and other medical specialties involved in the identification and referral of organ donors. Representatives of organ donors, transplant candidates, recipients and family members are also included.

Dr. Benza already serves on the Thoracic Organ Committee of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), which oversees organ transplantation in the United States.

“Dr. Benza’s selection for this important national role reflects his outstanding reputation in the field of organ transplantation, his immense contributions to its advancement over the past several decades and perhaps most importantly, his steadfast commitment to advocacy of patients,” said Srinivas Murali, MD, director of AGH’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and medical director of the Gerald McGinnis Cardiovascular Institute.

“At the same time, it is also a tremendous honor for AGH and the West Penn Allegheny Health System to be represented on such an exclusive and prestigious HHS committee. It is a testament to our program’s leadership role in the field of organ transplantation in the United States. ”

AGH has been a center for solid organ transplantation since 1987 and is currently certified by the Centers for Medicaid Services for its heart, liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation services. The hospital also recently began performing lung transplantations, and successfully performed its first combined Heart and Kidney transplantation.

“I am really excited to be part of this impressive team and greatly appreciate the opportunity to help ensure that our national policies for organ procurement and transplantation meet the highest clinical and ethical standards,” Dr. Benza said. “I look forward to collaborating with my peers on the Advisory Committee to further advance the success of organ transplantation in the United States.”


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