Chief of Intra-abdominal Transplantation | News | Loyola Medicine
Friday, January 29, 2021

Renowned Surgeon Luis A. Fernandez, MD, Named Loyola Medicine Division Chief, Intra-Abdominal Transplantation

image of Luis A. Fernandez, MD

MAYWOOD, IL – Luis A. Fernandez, MD, FACS, is the new division chief, intra-abdominal transplantation at Loyola Medicine. Dr. Fernandez is a world-renowned transplant surgeon specializing in pancreas, liver, islet cell and renal transplantation. 

Dr. Fernandez comes to Loyola from the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics where he was the director of the UW Liver Transplant Program and the co-director of the Islet Cell Transplant Program. He was also a tenured professor of surgery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has made significant regional and national contributions to the field of transplantation as the Region 7 Councilor for the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and as a member of the UNOS Executive Committee.

In addition to Dr. Fernandez's clinical accolades and accomplishments, he is a renowned investigator who has received consistent National Institutes of Health funding since 2003. Dr. Fernandez's research and clinical efforts have focused on maximizing the utility of donor organs to ensure superior clinical outcomes and utilizing human islet cells (which regulate blood sugar) to find a cure for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. His laboratory serves as one of five Islet Isolation Centers sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

"We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Luis Fernandez to Loyola Medicine," said Richard K. Freeman, MD, MBA, FACS, regional chief clinical officer, Loyola Medicine. "Dr. Fernandez brings significant experience as a program director, transplant surgeon and researcher to the Loyola Medicine Transplant Center. He is an exceptional addition to our team of transplant experts."

"Loyola's transplant program is world renowned, taking on some of the most complicated cases," said Edwin McGee Jr., MD, FACS, surgical director of Loyola's heart transplantation and mechanical assistance program. "With Dr. Fernandez's years of experience and translational research portfolio, he paves the path for Loyola to lead in innovation and state-of-the-art care for residents in Illinois and beyond."

"Dr. Fernandez is a world-class clinician and investigator, and we welcome him to Loyola Medicine," said Vivian Gahtan, MD, chair, department of surgery at Loyola Medicine.

"My goals as the new chief of transplant at Loyola Medicine are to assist the transplant center in continuing to achieve excellent clinical outcomes, and to create pathways for improvement in programs where needed," said Dr. Fernandez, who is also a professor of surgery at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. "I look forward to working with Loyola's team of outstanding transplant surgeons."

Dr. Fernandez received his medical degree from the Universidad Central de Venezuela. He completed a residency in general surgery at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, and a fellowship in Transplant Surgery at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.

The Loyola Medicine Transplant Center offers heart, lung, kidney, liver, pancreas, bone marrow and stem cell transplants, and multi-organ transplants. The program began in 1988, when Loyola University Medical Center completed the first successful lung transplant in Illinois. Two years later, Loyola performed the first double lung transplant in the state, and in 1992, surgeons performed simultaneous transplants on three patients utilizing the heart and lungs from one donor. In 2019, Loyola became one of a small group of hospitals in the U.S. to complete 1,000 lung transplants.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.