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People you should know

Financial coordinator

The financial coordinator has detailed knowledge of financial matters and hospital billing methods. This person works with social workers to determine how you can best afford the cost of your transplant.


Joseph Hillenberg, father of heart recipient and OPTN volunteer

Transplant surgeon

The transplant surgeon evaluates your present condition, makes recommendations, and ultimately performs your transplant surgery.

Transplant physician

This doctor, whether a nephrologist, hepatologist, cardiologist or other specialist and helps the surgeon evaluate your need for transplant.

Transplant coordinator

Usually a registered nurse, who will be your main contact and will work with you and other members of your transplant team to coordinate your care.

Insurance case manager

Often your first point of contact, the insurance case manager helps navigate the specifics of insurance coverage.

Social worker

Transplant social workers help transplant patients and their families with many helpful resources, including the development of a financial plan. They can also help address psycho-social issues and determine your needs and help you understand and cope with basic problems associated with your illness.


The registered dietitian develops nutrition therapy to patients before and after transplantation. Educating patients about maintaining a healthy weight and minimizing side effects of anti-rejection drug therapy ensures optimal nutrition status and improves transplant outcomes.

Patient representatives

The Patient Affairs Committee assists with making OPTN policies, reviews patient education materials and represents the opinion of patients within UNOS. The Patient Affairs Committee advises the UNOS Board of Directors and other UNOS committees of the patient and donor family perspective regarding policy proposals. The committee is made up of at least 11 members (one from each of the UNOS regions), and some additional at-large members. The members are mostly transplant recipients, as well as donor family members, from different areas of the country. Each regular member serves a three-year term. At-large members serve a two-year term.

Reference and Publication Information

This Web site is intended solely for the purpose of electronically providing the public with general health-related information and convenient access to the data resources. UNOS is not affiliated with any one product nor does UNOS assume responsibility for any error, omissions or other discrepancies.

The number one thing I’d say is find your transplant financial coordinator. That person is the key to manage your transplant cost. They will give you all sorts of advice from financial assistance, to finding outreach organizations, to letting you know about co-pays.

Joseph Hillenberg

Transplant parent

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