Driven to Deliver

Susan DuncanSusan Duncan is determined to make a difference and has already done so in her time as heart transplant coordinator at UC Health’s University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Transplant nurse coordinators are often focused either on pre- or post-transplant care. But as a transplant coordinator for the UC Medical Center heart transplant program, Duncan serves in both capacities. From wait-list management and pre-transplant care and education, to post-transplant care and follow-up, Duncan does it all.

Despite her intense responsibilities, she’s still driven to improve the patient experience in small and big ways. From delivering on a promise to one patient to cartwheel into his room when he got word of a donor heart, to visiting another patient to clarify medications and subsequently advocate on their behalf, there are few things Duncan won’t do to make sure her patients have what they need, physically and emotionally.

She’s also committed to long-term projects that will enhance patient care. Duncan and a colleague are now in the early stages of developing a study to determine the optimal time for delivering education to patients about their post-transplant care. She is also focused on ensuring a smooth transition for young heart transplant patients entering adulthood and is working with a team to develop a more formal heart transplant transition of care program.

Watching Duncan work, you’d never know that early in her nursing career, she was forced to leave due to a life-threatening latex allergy. At a time when avoiding latex in the hospital setting was all but impossible, Duncan turned her full attention to her family and community. Twelve years later, she returned to nursing and, more than ever, is motivated to help her patients and make every day count.

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