At the Maine Transplant Program at Maine Medical Center, our mission is to provide the best care for patients with irreversible kidney failure and their living donors. As the only transplant program in the state, the Maine Transplant Program has performed more than 1500 kidney transplants since 1971. Learn more about living donation.
We are committed to providing top quality, multidisciplinary and personalized care for each patient. Our experienced transplant team is made up of nephrologists, surgeons, nurses, lab specialists, pharmacists, nutritionists and social workers. Our dedicated group works closely with the providers who know you best including your referring nephrologist and dialysis unit, to ensure that you have the best possible outcome.
Receiving care closer to home can help ease stress. The Maine Transplant Program provides high quality care conveniently located in Portland, Maine. When compared with other programs in the United States:
- Our center has higher transplant rates (proportion of referred patients who actually receive transplants) than the region.
- Our median time to transplant is less than half of the time for the region. These statistics mean you may be likely to receive a transplant faster with us than with other programs in the area.
- Our patient mortality rates after being placed on the waitlist are lower than the rates of those of the Region and the U.S.
- Our patient and graft survival rates are higher than the U.S. average.
For living donors, we offer:
- Fast Track evaluation process that can speed up the evaluation of living donor candidates allowing us make a decision within 8 weeks of the initial visit
- Kidney Paired Donation (also known as Kidney Donor Swap)
- If your blood type is not compatible with the person you want to donate to (this happens about 30 percent of the time), you can still help that person by taking part in a kidney transplant paired exchange.
- Through our program, you can participate in a local or national exchange, so your kidney goes to a patient in need. Then, as part of the exchange, your intended recipient will receive a kidney from someone else who they are compatible with.
- Your chances of helping somebody in need despite being incompatible are 1.5 times higher with us than the national average.
The Maine Transplant Program provides easy-to-understand information about organ transplant and living donation. These interactive programs can help you learn more becoming a donor and general information on organ transplant surgery.
The programs, created by Emmi Solutions, are developed in partnership with Board certified physicians. *Please note — these programs provide a general overview. Your surgeon may have different requirements, recommendations, and pathways than what is presented.
To view a Video, please click on the links below and complete the registration.
The Maine Transplant Program has been at the forefront of both translational and clinical research. As a teaching hospital, many of our physicians serve as faculty who continue to publish scholarly works in a wide variety of peer-reviewed journals. We are very active participants in medical education at every level. You may meet our trainees both in clinic and in the hospital as they learn about kidney disease and transplantation from our expert faculty.
John Vella, MD
Juan Palma-Vargas, MD
Surgical Director and Director Living Donation
Hassan Mahmoud, MD
Larry Melton, MD
Faysal Elgilani, MD
Clinical Support Staff
Director, Transplant Services
Theresa Boulos, RN, BSN, CCRN
Betsy Bernazzani, RN
Nicole Irvin, RN
Heather Stephen, RN
Living Donor Coordinator
Andrew Pixley, RN, BSN
Living Donor Coordinator
Don Price, RN
Heidi Ulbrich, RN
Inpatient Clinical Support
Deborah Hoch, DNP, CCRN, ACNP-BN
Nephrology & Transplant Nurse Practitioner
Marizela Savic, PharmD
Sarah Moran, LCSW
Felicia Bryant, RD
Clinical Transplant Dietitian
Living Donor Advocates
Laura Madigan McCown, MA, LCSW
Frank Chessa, PhD
Please complete this form if you have questions or want more information about organ transplant services.Thank you.
Kate and Mike's Story
Michael Martel has been on dialysis for 9 years and needed a new kidney. Kate Myhaver wanted to donate a kidney to a friend but it wasn't a match. Despite that, she moved forward being an altruistic donor, someone who gives an kidney to an unknown person, and Michael was the lucky recipient.