Meet Our Multidisciplinary Heart Transplant Team

Comprehensive Transplant Center

Baptist’s team of heart transplant doctors and specialists uses a multidisciplinary approach to integrate every aspect of your care before, during and after your transplant procedure. They provide the highest quality heart transplantation procedure, using their expertise to save and transform lives.

Our heart transplant surgeons, cardiologists, nurse practitioners, nurses and other clinicians monitor the progress of your care plan closely, assisting with recovery and medications as you adjust to life with your new organ. Learn more about the specialists in the Baptist Heart Transplant Program who will lead you on your journey to better heart health.

Heart Transplant Surgeons

Our heart transplant surgeons are highly skilled and trained in transplant surgery and post-transplant surgical care. They will meet with you during your evaluation to go over the heart transplant procedure, including the risks, benefits and potential complications, as well as answer your questions. They also help lead the transplant team in your follow-up care.

  • Dr. John CraigTransplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) Surgical Director and Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Program Medical Director 
    Dr. Craig completed his fellowship training in cardiothoracic surgery at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital/Children’s Hospital, as well as fellowship training in vascular surgery. He is certified by the American Board of Vascular Medicine, American Board of Thoracic Surgery, and American Board of Surgery: Vascular Surgery, and is a Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation. 
  • Dr. Rachel HarrisonCardiothoracic Surgeon specializing in heart failure, short- and long-term support devices, and heart transplant 
    Dr. Harrison completed her undergraduate work at Vanderbilt University, medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and surgical residency and fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern and Parkland Hospital. She is board certified in Cardiothoracic Surgery and certified in Robotic Surgical System and Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery.

Transplant Cardiologists

Specialists in heart failure, advanced heart failure and end-stage heart disease, our transplant cardiologists are also highly trained in device therapy and transplantation, including immunosuppression and long-term management of the cardiac transplant patient. They lead the multidisciplinary care team.

  • Dr. Todd Edwards Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) Program Medical Director
    Dr. Edwards received his medical degree from Hahnemann Medical College and his internal medicine and cardiovascular medicine training at the University of Pittsburgh. He is certified through the American Board of Cardiovascular Disease, National Board of Echocardiography for Transthoracic and Transesophageal Adult Echocardiography, Board of Nuclear Cardiology and Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology. He has been closely associated with the transplant and ventricular assist device program since 1993.
  • Dr. Arsalan Shirwany Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) Clinic Medical Director
    Dr. Shirwany received his medical degree from King Edward Medical College and completed fellowships in infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He is certified in Advanced 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.
  • Dr. Dmitry Yaranov Advanced Heart Failure Cardiologist with the Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) Clinic
    Dr. Yaranov received his postgraduate training at Danbury Hospital/Yale University School of Medicine, received cardiovascular medicine training at the University of Florida, and completed an advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology fellowship at Cleveland Clinic. He is certified through the American Board of Internal Medicine, National Board of Echocardiography and the Board of Nuclear Cardiology. He also is certified in Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology.

Transplant Physician Specialists

Heart transplantation is a complex, long-term process. To address every aspect of the many interrelated issues, a dedicated team of carefully selected medical specialists participate in the care of each heart transplant patient throughout the entire process.

Advanced Nurse Practitioners

Under the supervision of a licensed physician, a Nurse Practitioner (NP) provides comprehensive, specialized care throughout the transplant process. Your NP may obtain your medical history, perform exams and supervise your heart transplant evaluation.

Transplant Coordinators

A transplant coordinator is a registered nurse specially trained to care for patients in different phases of the transplant process. He or she coordinates your transplant evaluation and time spent on the heart transplant waiting list. A post-transplant coordinator monitors your progress in the hospital and provides follow-up care coordination and education once you are discharged..

Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Coordinators

A VAD coordinator is a registered nurse specially trained to provide care for patients who receive a ventricular assist device. The VAD coordinator provides education about the device, monitors your progress in the hospital, and provides follow-up care coordination once you are discharged.

Social Workers

Social workers are available for evaluation and supportive counseling for you and your family throughout all phases of heart transplantation. If you need information about fundraising, medication assistance, housing and other transplant resources, the transplant social worker can assist you.

Physical Therapist

A physical therapist will visit you through all phases of heart transplantation. While awaiting transplant, he or she will teach you exercises that are the most beneficial to maintaining your strength leading up to surgery and may refer you to a rehabilitation program in the early weeks after transplant.

Dietitian

A transplant dietitian’s role is to develop a nutritional plan that will ensure you are as healthy as possible for your heart transplant surgery and life after it. He or she will assess your nutrition habits, address possible deficiencies, assess any need for weight loss, and talk about possible dietary restrictions and follow-up care.

Psychologist

The heart transplant process can be an emotionally difficult time for patients and their families. Your transplant psychologist’s main role as a member of the heart transplant team is to conduct an initial psychosocial evaluation and provide supportive follow-up throughout the waiting, recovery and rehab phases of transplant.

Pharmacist

It is important for you to understand the medications you will need following your heart transplantation to help ensure success as a transplant recipient. The pharmacist will evaluate all prescribed drugs, monitor side effects, and watch for any possible drug interactions. Your transplant pharmacist will also assist with the monitoring and adjustments of your anti-rejection medications.

Chaplain

Baptist’s mission mirrors the three-fold ministry of Christ – healing, preaching and teaching. 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 heart transplantation.

Financial Coordinator

The financial coordinator will help you understand the cost of heart transplantation, explain your insurance benefits and assist you in identifying resources that may be available to you. The financial coordinator works with your insurance case manager to make sure you are approved for a heart transplant and pre-certified for hospital admission..

Palliative Care Coordinator

You and your family may have to make difficult decisions regarding your care. The palliative care coordinator is a specialized nurse focused on improving the quality of life for both you and your family. Regardless of your treatment choice, the coordinator will work with you and the heart transplant team to support you and your wishes.

Administrative and Management Team

The transplant administrative team helps to manage the heart transplant team and processes surrounding heart transplantation to ensure they flow smoothly as you transition from pre-transplant candidate to transplant recipient. The transplant management team works closely with the hospital to ensure that our dedicated team consistently delivers comprehensive, quality-driven health care.