2019-2020 - Joint TTS-ISVCA Webinar Series on Composite Tissue

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Psychosocial Aspects of VCA

1.1 - Psychosocial Aspects of VCA

Presenter: Martin, Kumnig, Innsbruck, Austria
Authors: Sheila Jowsey Gregoire, Martin Kumnig


This webinar will highlight the psychosocial challenges that potential recipients face and the importance of the evaluation and support on outcomes of VCA.

Sheila Jowsey Gregoire's Biography:

Dr. Jowsey-Gregoire completed her psychiatry residency and consultation-liaison fellowship at the Mayo Clinic. She is co-chair of the Division of Professionalism and an associate Professor of Psychiatry. Her career focus is in transplantation and she established the Mayo Clinic Transplant Psychiatry program in 1999, serves on the Mayo Clinic Transplant Executive and Clinical Practice Committees and has a joint appointment in the Department of Surgery. She is the psychiatry director of the Mayo Clinic Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (VCA) program and is on the United Network of Organ Sharing VCA committee which sets policy nationwide for the care of hand, face and uterine transplant candidates. She is a founding member of the Chauvet Workshop, an international organization that promotes the psychosocial care of VCA patients and is the principal investigator for a Dept. of Defense funded study in reconstructive transplantation. She is active in the American Society of Transplantation (AST) and a member of the AST Education committee and past chair of the AST Psychosocial Community of Practice. She has received NIH funding on outcomes in kidney donors and her research has been published in the American Journal of Transplantation as well as a number of other transplant journals. She co-led writing groups of the AST and International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation on guidelines for the psychosocial evaluation of kidney donors and heart transplant patients. She is a member of the Transplant Center Diversity and Inclusion Committee which focuses on promoting the needs of patients and staff.

Martin Kumnig's Biography:

Dr. Martin Kumnig is the head of Center for Advanced Psychology in Plastic and Transplant Surgery at the Medical University of Innsbruck. He is an Associated Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Medical Psychology. He received his PhD at the Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt and the Leopold-Franzens-University of Innsbruck. Dr. Kumnig received his venia docendi in Clinical Psychology 2015 at the Medical University of Innsbruck. He developed several psychological evaluation and follow-up protocols for different clinical questions. Dr. Kumnig is teaching at the Medical University of Innsbruck, the Leopold-Franzens-University of Innsbruck, the Management Center Innsbruck, and the Austrian Academy of Psychology. Dr. Kumnig is one of the leading experts on psychosocial aspects in VCA and he was one of the first to show how important the development of standardized psychosocial protocols and a VCA specific quality of life tool would be. He provided evidence that psychosocial outcomes have an essential impact on overall transplant outcome for patients that underwent VCA. This body of work has formed the framework of an international multicenter research collaboration.

Dr. Kumnig currently serves as member of the Reconstructive Transplantation Innsbruck (RTi) Team at the Medical University of Innsbruck. He was responsible for the development of the Innsbruck Psychological Screening Program for Reconstructive Transplantation (iRT-PSP) that was the first published standardized psychosocial evaluation and follow-up protocol in the field of VCA. Dr. Kumnig also works as clinical consultant for different VCA centers worldwide, particularly addressing psychosocial issues in modern transplantation medicine. Dr. Kumnig is a founding member of the Chauvet Research Group and associated Workshop, an international interdisciplinary organization that promotes the psychosocial care of VCA patients. Additionally, Dr. Kumnig is a member of the Ethical Legal and Psychosocial Aspects of Organ Transplantation (ELPAT) of the European Society of Organ Transplantation (ESOT). Dr. Kumnig is also an elected member of the board of advisors of the Young Scientific Investigators at the Medical University of Innsbruck. He is also a member of the European Association of Psychosomatic Medicine (EAPM). For his work on psychosocial protocol development, Dr. Kumnig received the Dr. Otto Seibert Award for Research on Encouragement of Socially Disadvantaged. He received funding on psychosocial outcomes research and protocol development in transplantation medicine and his research has been published in a number of transplant journals. Dr. Kumnig is currently working on research protocols on the development of psychosocial healthcare guidelines for VCA patients and patients with prosthetic case by using health technology assessment. Other current research interests include the computerized monitoring of adherence and HRQOL in immunosuppressed patients after transplantation and the pre-transplant psychological assessment and concomitant psychological counseling of candidates and donors for living kidney donation.

Christina Kaufman's Biography:

Dr. Christina L. Kaufman is the Executive Director of the Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery (CMKI).  She is an Associate Professor in the Division of Hand Surgery at the University of Louisville.  She received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, under the mentorship of Rene Duquesnoy and Adriana Zeevi.  Dr. Kaufman worked on transplantation tolerance protocols in experimental and clinical models at the Institute for Cellular Therapeutics where she was the Associate Director of Clinical Trials and the Director of the Flow Cytometry and Imaging Laboratory.  She also worked on clinical and experimental models of autoimmune disease and type I diabetes. In addition to her experience with the conduct and administration of Phase I and Phase II clinical trials, she is the PI of several grants through the Department of Defense and several foundations. In addition, she is the Assistant Program Director for the ACGME accredited CMKI/U of L Hand Surgery program. Dr. Kaufman currently serves as the Secretary of the Board for the American Society of Reconstructive Transplantation, and is active in several other societies such as the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the American Society of Transplantation and the International Society of Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation. She also serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Transplantation, and is a section editor for Current Opinions in Organ Transplantation.

Dr. Kaufman has implemented a research study using very high resolution Ultrasound Biomicroscopy to image graft vasculopathy in hand transplant patients as well as conventional hand patients.  Other current research interests include the use of adipose derived stromal vascular cells in clinical and experimental trials of immunomodulation, definition of chronic rejection in VCA (Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation) recipients, and a trial of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in transplant, replant and nerve repair patients in collaboration with Dr. Scott Frey of the University of Missouri. In addition, she directs the day to day operation and administrative and regulatory oversight of the clinical hand transplant trial in progress in the Louisville VCA program.

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