Saving lives together

James Pittman on the art of transplant administration

James Pittman on the art of transplant administration

Chair of the OPTN Transplant Administrators Committee previews opening session at TMF

“The transplant administrator, at the end of the day, is really the heart and the mind of the transplant program. They keep it running. They make sure their center is appropriately staffed, that they recruit the right team, and that they have a positive work environment. It’s a demanding job because it requires a kind of maestro to orchestrate all of that and keep everyone in sync. It’s non-stop, 24/7.”
James Pittman, RN, MSN

It’s a job James Pittman, RN, MSN, knows well. The current chair of the OPTN Transplant Administrators Committee began his work in transplant administration at the former Methodist Hospital in Houston (now Houston Methodist at Texas Medical Center). Today, he serves as Assistant Vice President of Transplant Services for Nashville-based HCA Healthcare, which comprises 185 hospitals in the U.S., including 13 transplant centers across the country.

“But I’ve always been in transplant, since the beginning when I was at the bedside.” After graduating from nursing school at the University of Texas at Austin, he started out in the ICU, where he cared for heart and lung transplant recipients.

Pittman says among the many issues transplant administrators must navigate are new allocation policies: “It’s a big topic right now, and we have to be accountable to all of that. And we have to be the ones who have the vision and foresight to mitigate any sort of risk we might encounter and do it proactively and find solutions.”

When he gives remarks at the TMF opening welcome session this year, Pittman will be speaking to a broad community of thought leaders in the field at what he describes as the preeminent education event for transplant administration.

“When physician leaders and hospital executives and up-and-coming future administrators attend TMF, it’s of great benefit to the entire community. To really focus on the art and practice of administering and leading a transplant program, we as administrators need partners in all of our aspects.”

Connect with James Pittman and other transplant administration leaders at the 27th Annual UNOS Transplant Management Forum in Orlando, May 14-16, 2019.

Review TMF agenda

More about the OPTN Transplant Administrators Committee 

TAC considers issues related to the administration of transplant programs and provides input to the other Committees and the Board with regard to the potential impact of developing policies and other OPTN requirements on transplant program operations.

Find out more about the committee here.

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