Transplant Surgeons of UC Health and Their Patients

The life of a person waiting for an organ transplant is filled with a lot of questions, fear and uncertainty.

What if I never get the call?

What will life be like post-transplant?

How will this affect my family?

How long will I wait?

It can be a difficult and dark time in a person’s life. These are patients who are extremely ill and don’t know the definitive outcome or timeline of when that will change. It can cause some to either lean heavily into their faith or to seriously question it.

From the transplantation perspective, we see first-hand, the highs and lows that patients and their families experience. We cheer for them as they overcome what seems like impossible odds, provide support when they don’t feel strong enough to stand on their own. We get the opportunity to make the “the call” that an organ has become available and also have the unfortunate task of having to sometimes explain that for unforeseen circumstances, the transplant cannot proceed.

There are many people playing important roles, including nurses, administrators, therapists, social workers, organ & tissue procurement organization staff, transplant surgeons and everyone else in between who make donation possible.

Thanks to the efforts from the transplant surgeons at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center as well as transplant surgeons across the world and the individuals who designated themselves donors or whose families courageously said “yes”, countless lives have been transformed because of the second chance they received through the gift of life.

“Transplant surgery can cause one of the most dramatic differences to people’s lives. Transplant patients are amongst the most grateful patients. That is a very powerful motivating factor for health care providers. Donation is one of the most powerful means that people have to give to improve the lives of others.”

– E. Steve Woodle, M.D., Transplant Surgeon and Liver Transplant Recipient.


E. Steve Woodle, M.D., F.A.C.S.

William A. Altemeier Chair in Surgery

Professor of Surgery

Director, Division of Transplantation

Director, Israel Penn International Transplant Tumor Registry



Shimul A. Shah, MD, MHCM

Director, Liver Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery

Associate Professor of Surgery

University of Cincinnati


Vernon Carter

Patient of Dr. Shah’s, Liver Recipient


Tayyab S. Diwan, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Surgery

Director, Pancreas Transplant Program

Director, Transplant Surgery Fellowship


Parshawna Johnson

Patient of Dr. Diwan’s, Kidney Recipient


Madison C. Cuffy, M.D., M.B.A.

Assistant Professor of Surgery


Stephon Forester

Patient of Dr. Cuffy’s, Kidney Recipient


Flavio Paterno, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Surgery


Leslie Pettus

Patient of Dr. Paterno’s, Liver Recipient