A new short film highlights the delicate and difficult operation of the Florida Transplant Center as doctors and administration compete with the coronavirus epidemic in one of the nation’s hotspots.

The coronovirus epidemic forced hospitals to completely rethink, changing many facilities day by day to deal with and spread the increasing severity of infection.

The Miami Transplant Institute saw how New York struggles early, and they knew that Miami could also turn into a major hotspot.

“Initially, it was very important, and the administration was taking things day by day,” transplant director Elizabeth Shipman told Granthshala News. “When the guidance came in, the transplant was considered an emergency operation, so we were able to remain open.”

The institute sent several coordinators home to work remotely, which presented challenges to keep things running smoothly. The institute managed to use telehealth and eventually integrated it into its process.

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More difficult was how much the institute relied on the help of other facilities including transportation and screening to perform its services.

“We are the largest transplant center in the country, and we are dependent on import organs,” Dr. Giselle GuerraDirector of Transplant for the institute, told Granthshala News. “That’s why 85% of our organs are imported. So we actually had to do a lot of harassment to continue the transplant.”

The institute had to work rapidly to establish the necessary infrastructure to continue operations. Guerra said that during the past year many transplant centers were not able to continue their work, which gave the institute a unique opportunity to continue serving the community.


The most important element, she said, was educating the community. The institute worked with Jackson Health System and local leaders to establish the most guidance and outreach.

Guerra said, “We had to keep on reducing. “It was one of the most challenging things because first we had to know who we were trying to educate.”

However, the staff pulled together, and helped each other through difficult times, as did many health professionals.

“I think we handled every decision gracefully and we were able to support our employees,” Shipman said. “We really leaned on each other as a system, to support each other through it.”

The film, “Transplanting through a Pandemic: How the Miami Transplant Institute Studied Up to COVID-19,” Full viewable on YouTube.