The opening of the new Kidney Transplant Clinic at the Veterans Affairs (VA) St. Louis Health Care System is a valuable resource – and a huge convenience – for local veterans.
Headed by Anuja Java, MD, Division of Nephrology at Washington University School of Medicine, the clinic is for patients who have received a kidney transplant and for those with chronic kidney disease who need evaluation to determine their candidacy for a transplant.
Although the VA in St. Louis has long been a provider of excellent nephrology services (currently under the direction of WashU nephrologist Dr. Michael Rauchman) it did not have a transplant nephrologist prior to Dr. Java joining the VA.
“The veterans here were previously referred to centers outside St. Louis, such as Iowa, Nashville, Houston, Pittsburgh and New York, to get a transplant,” says Java. “Before the transplant clinic, these patients had to travel back to their respective centers every few months for follow up and lab work.”
The new clinic, located at the John Cochran VA Medical Center, will provide comprehensive pre- and post-transplant care to the patients locally, eliminating the need for such extensive travel. In addition to managing patients’ immunosuppression and other medical issues, another important function of the clinic will be to monitor patients closely for risk of cancer and infections through timely screenings and examinations.
Java obtained her medical degree from the Government Medical College in Nagpur, India, and received her internal medicine training at Orlando Regional Medical Center. She went on to complete a nephrology fellowship at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and then a fellowship in transplant nephrology at WashU. Java stayed at WashU for a research biology and biomedical sciences fellowship, after which she joined the Division of Nephrology as assistant professor of medicine in 2016. Her research focus is complement-mediated kidney diseases, such as atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome and C3 glomerulopathy.
Java’s dedication to local veterans doesn’t end with getting the VA transplant kidney clinic up and running. She is determined to improve pre-transplant education and expedite evaluations so that more veterans can be referred for a kidney transplant.
“Our ultimate goal is to be able to build the program where we can start doing transplant surgery at our local VA as well!”
The Kidney Transplant Clinic is attended by Dr. Java on Tuesday afternoons at John Cochran VA Medical Center, 915 North Grand Blvd in St. Louis, MO. For more information, contact the nephrology office at 314-289-6485, or Kim Price, the transplant nurse practitioner, at 314-289-6457.
Follow Dr. Java on Twitter @anuja_java.