Senator Klein Applauds Senate Appointment of Distinguished Bronx Physician to the Transplant Council

BRONX, NY - On Friday, State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) applauded the appointment of Dr. Milan Kinkhabwala, Division of Transplantation Chief for Montefiore Medical Center, to the New York State Transplant Council.

The Transplant Council advises the Department of Health Commissioner on organ procurement organizations, banks, storage facilities, distribution and transplantation of organs and tissue. The council consists of 21 members, which are appointed by the Governor, Speaker of the Assembly and President of the Senate.

“I am extremely pleased that Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has appointed Dr. Kinkhabwala to the Transplant Council. Montefiore Medical Center has an outstanding reputation for quality patient care in my district and I look forward to Dr. Kinkhabwala’s contributions while serving on this council,” said Senator Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester).

Montefiore Medical Center was approved by the New York State Department of Health for the first and only liver transplant program in the Bronx. Patients who suffer from severe liver disease in need of a liver transplant can now seek highly specialized surgery and critically important follow-up care without traveling outside the Bronx. The liver transplant program is part of the Montefiore-Einstein Liver Center and is supported by a research component from Albert Einstein College of Medicine's National Institutes of Health-funded Liver Center.

Dr. Milan Kinkhabwala, along with his large team of surgeons and liver specialists make up this program. Dr. Kinkhabwala currently serves on the Medical Advisory Committee for the American Liver Foundation and is a Professor in the Department of Surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

"I am proud to appoint Dr. Kinkhabwala to the New York State Transplant Council, and know his addition to the council will serve to enhance its extraordinary work. Dr. Kinkhabwala is a pioneer in liver transplantation surgery in the Bronx, and is improving the length and quality of life for countless local residents. I thank Senator Klein for working with my office to advance this outstanding recommendation," Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said.

“As an accomplished surgeon and a leader, Dr. Kinkhabwala will make an important contribution to the New York State Transplant Council. He and an exceptional interdisciplinary team at Montefiore provide all forms of major organ transplantation surgeries and comprehensive, on-going care,” said Steven M. Safyer, MD, President and CEO of Montefiore Medical Center.

"Dr. Kinkhabwala is not only an outstanding transplant surgeon, he is committed to improving health outcomes through his collaborative research with colleagues at Einstein. He will bring a unique and valuable perspective to the Transplant Council,” said Allen M. Spiegel, M.D., The Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean of Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

On Tuesday, The Independent Democratic Conference and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, (D-Brooklyn) joined 10-year-old heart transplant survivor Lauren Shields and her family in Albany to push for life saving legislation. The measure, Lauren's Law, would prohibit a driver's license application from being processed unless the organ donation section is filled out. Applicants would have to check a box stating yes, or not at this time. There currently is an organ donation section on the application, but it is not required to be filled out. This change would increase organ donation in New York, which is ranked last in the country for the number of new donors. The bill (S.3885/A.6148) cleared its first major hurdle on Tuesday, passing the Senate Committee on Transportation.


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