Meet Our Multidisciplinary Team
Baptist’s team of transplant specialists uses a multidisciplinary approach to integrate every aspect of a patient’s care before, during and after the transplant procedure.
All the needs of the patient and their families are met through the close collaboration of the highly skilled and experienced multidisciplinary team. The team consists of transplant surgeons, cardiologists, nurse practitioners, transplant coordinators, social workers, a dietitian, a physical therapist, a chaplain, a financial coordinator, a pharmacist and various other team members. Each member of the heart transplant team offers a specialized service to help care for our patients. The team works together to manage patient care at every stage, with the goal of helping the patient return to a full and productive life.
Our transplant surgeons are highly skilled and trained in transplant surgery and post-transplant surgical care. The surgeon will meet with you during your evaluation to discuss your advanced heart failure options, the evaluation, the transplant procedure and the risks, benefits and complications of receiving a donated heart, and will be available to answer any questions that you may have. They will perform the surgery and monitor your progress after the surgery. They will help lead the transplant team in your follow-up care after the transplant procedure.
Dr. Ed Garrett
Dr. Ed Garrett currently serves as Surgical Director of the Heart Transplant and MCS Program at Baptist Memorial Hospital. He is certified through the American Board of Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery and American Board of Vascular Surgery. Since joining his father in practice at Baptist in early 1987, Dr. Garrett has been directly involved in more than 300 heart and lung transplant surgeries and their donor procurements, as well as the continued care and management of those recipients. He is well versed in all aspects of transplantation, including immunosuppression and complications surrounding transplantation.
Dr. John Craig
Dr. John Craig completed Fellowship training in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital/Children’s Hospital in Boston in 2011 and completed Fellowship Training in Vascular Surgery in 2009 at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. He is certified by the American Board of Vascular Medicine, American Board of Thoracic Surgery, American Board of Surgery: Vascular Surgery, American Board of Surgery and is a Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation. He serves on the Baptist Medical Group Board of Directors, the Baptist Memorial Hospital Corporate Physician Advisory Council and the Mid-South Transplant Foundation Advisory Board.
Dr. Rachel Harrison
Dr. Rachel Harrison is board certified in Cardiothoracic Surgery and also certified in Robotic Surgical System and Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery. She completed her education at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where she completed a 4 + 3 Early Specialization Program.
The transplant cardiologists are specialists in heart failure, advanced heart failure and end-stage heart disease. They are highly trained in all aspects of transplantation, including immunosuppression and long-term management of the transplant patient. The cardiologist will meet with you during your evaluation and help determine if you are a candidate for heart transplant surgery, or if any other treatment options may benefit you. The transplant cardiologist will help keep you in the best of health while you wait for a transplant. They will lead the other members of the multidisciplinary care team in the management of your care during your evaluation, while you are on the transplant waitlist and after your transplant.
Dr. Todd Edwards
Dr. Edwards currently serves as the Medical and Program Director for the Heart Transplant and Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) program. He is certified through the American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Cardiovascular Disease, National Board of Echocardiography for Transthoracic and Transesophageal Adult Echocardiography, Board of Nuclear Cardiology and Advanced Heart Failure / Transplant Cardiology. He has been closely associated with the transplant and VAD program since 1993.
Dr. Arsalan Shirwany
Dr. Shirwany currently serves as the Medical Director of the Heart Transplant/MCS and Advanced Heart Failure Clinic at Baptist Memorial Hospital. He is certified in Advance Heart Failure and Transplant through the American Board of Internal Medicine, in Nuclear Cardiology, in Comprehensive Adult Echocardiography, and in Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine. He completed a Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Tennessee in 1998 as well as a Fellowship in Cardiovascular Diseases at University of Tennessee in 2001.
Dr. Jawwad Yusuf
Dr Yusuf is Board certified in Internal Medicine, Nuclear Cardiology and eligible for the Board of Echocardiography and for the American Board of Cardiovascular Medicine. He completed a Fellowship in Advanced Heart Failure at the University of Chicago in 2014 and 2015. He serves as the Physician Champion for the Baptist Memphis Heart Failure Team.
Transplant Physician Specialists
Transplantation is a complex, long-term process; the actual surgery is only one element. To address every aspect of the many interrelated issues, a dedicated team of carefully selected medical specialists participates in the care of the transplant patient. This team of experts is involved in the care of the transplant patient throughout the evaluation, selection and management of the transplant patient.
Dr. John Morris
Dr. John Morris currently serves as the program’s Nephrology Specialist. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. He attended Medical School at the University of Tennessee and began his practice in 2001. He has been with the Transplant/MCS Team since 2011.
Dr. Edward Muir
Dr. Ed Muir serves as the Transplant/MCS Hematologist/Oncologist and has been with the program since 2012.
Dr. Stephen Threlkeld
Dr. Stephen Threlkeld currently serves as the program’s Infectious Disease Specialist. He is Board Certified in Infectious Disease and began working with the Transplant/MCS Team in 2013.
Dr. Glenn Williams
Dr. Glenn Williams is Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine. He has served as the Transplant/MCS Pulmonologist and Intensivist since 2011.
Advanced Nurse Practitioners
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are members of the transplant team who practice medicine under the supervision of a licensed physician. The NP may obtain your medical history, perform your physical exam and supervise your transplant evaluation. He or she will educate you about transplantation and your advanced heart failure options. While waiting for a transplant and after the transplant procedure, the NP will continue to participate in your follow-up care, along with other members of the transplant team.
A transplant coordinator is a registered nurse specially trained to care for patients before, during and after transplantation. Our transplant coordinators are assigned to work in different phases of the transplant process. A pre-transplant coordinator will be responsible for coordinating your transplant evaluation and your time spent waiting on the transplant waiting list. A post-transplant coordinator will follow your progress in the hospital after transplant and provide follow-up care coordination once you are discharged.
A ventricular assist device (VAD) coordinator is a registered nurse specially trained to provide care for patients before and after a VAD is implanted as a bridge to transplant or as a treatment for heart disease. The VAD coordinator will provide education about the device, follow your progress in the hospital, and provide follow-up care coordination once you are discharged.
Social workers are available for evaluation and supportive counseling for you and your family throughout the phases of transplant. If you need information about fundraising, medication assistance, housing, and other transplant resources, the transplant social worker can assist you.
A physical therapist will see you through all phases of transplant. While awaiting transplant, he or she may help you understand what exercises are most beneficial and help assist you in maintaining your strength leading up to the surgery. The physical therapist is specially trained to help you regain your strength after surgery and may refer you to a rehabilitation program in the early weeks after transplant. Exercise is important to your recovery. It can reduce complications after the transplant surgery; improve your endurance; and help you maintain an active, healthy lifestyle.
A transplant dietitian’s role is to help you reach your nutritional goals. At your first appointment, your dietitian will assess your nutrition habits, look into any possible vitamin and mineral deficiencies, conduct a nutrition and weight history, assess any need for weight loss, and talk about possible dietary restrictions. With this information, your dietitian will develop a nutritional plan to help you be as healthy as possible for your transplant surgery. Following transplant, the transplant dietitian will be available to further assist your team with your follow-up care.
The transplant process can be an emotionally difficult time for patients and their families. Often patients are confused about the rationale for seeing a psychologist during the work up for a medical procedure. Research has shown that prior history of mood problems, substance abuse, lack of social support, and noncompliance are associated with poor medical outcomes after surgery. Psychologists can help to identify and address these issues prior to transplant surgery to help improve outcomes. Your transplant psychologist’s main role is to conduct an initial psychosocial evaluation and provide supportive follow-up throughout the waiting, recovery, and rehabilitative phases of transplant and will assist the team with your follow-up care.
A transplant pharmacist will be involved with your care through all phases of transplant. It is important for you to understand the medications you will need following transplant to help ensure success as a transplant recipient. Your pharmacist will evaluate the drugs you are prescribed, monitor for any side effects, and watch for any possible drug interactions. As a key member of your medical team, your transplant pharmacist will assist with the monitoring and adjustments of your anti-rejection medications.
Dr. Baird received her Doctorate of Pharmacy degree in 2014 from the University of Tennessee College Of Pharmacy in Memphis, TN. She completed a pharmacy practice residency with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Germantown, TN and a specialty residency in cardiology at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, CA. She has been working with the transplant team at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis since October 2016.
Dr. Waddell received her Doctorate of Pharmacy from the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in 2009. Following graduation, she completed two years of residency at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Dawn started as a clinical pharmacy specialist at Baptist Memorial in 2011 and joined the Transplant team in 2012. She is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist and an assistant professor at University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy. Dawn also serves as the Clinical Pharmacy Manager for the Baptist Pharmacy Department.
Baptist’s mission mirrors the three-fold ministry of Christ – healing, preaching and teaching. It is important to our team that we provide compassion and care to our patients. In addition to providing quality health care, we also strive to care for your emotional and spiritual well-being. The chaplain can help you and your family deal with the emotional and spiritual issues that can be associated with transplantation.
The transplant process can be overwhelming, not just emotionally, but financially as well. The financial coordinator will help you understand the cost of transplantation, explain your insurance benefits and assist you in identifying resources that may be available to you. The financial coordinator will work with your nurses and insurance case manager to make sure your insurance has approved you for a heart transplant and pre-certified you for hospital admission. The financial coordinator is available to you and your family during all phases of transplant and will assist the transplant team with your follow-up care.
Supportive Care Coordinator
Heart failure is a chronic, life-limiting illness. In addition to the physical and emotional issues, you and your family may also have to make difficult decisions regarding your care. A supportive care coordinator is part of our multidisciplinary approach for all patients being considered for heart transplant or mechanical circulatory support (e.g. VAD). The supportive care coordinator is a specialized nurse focused on improving the quality of life for both you and your family. The coordinator will guide you in sorting out your personal values, your attitude regarding treatment, and your family’s collective goals. Regardless of your treatment choice, the coordinator will work with you and your transplant team to support you and your wishes.
Administrative and Management Team
The transplant administrative team helps to manage the team and processes surrounding transplant and to ensure that each step of the process flows smoothly as you transition from a pre-transplant candidate to a transplant recipient. The transplant management team works closely with the hospital to ensure that our dedicated transplant team consistently delivers comprehensive, quality-driven health care to each patient who is referred to our program.
The Transplant Clinic
The Transplant Clinic cares for patients at every stage of the transplant process. Beginning with your referral for transplant, our office staff will work with your referring physician and our team to schedule your first visit in our clinic. Our office staff works with patients and families to coordinate care during the evaluation and schedule follow-up appointments. Through the clinic, surgeons, medical specialists, nurses and other clinicians follow each patient’s care plan closely and monitor their progress, assisting with recovery and medications as patients adjust to life with their new organ.