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ECMC Transplantation & Kidney Care Physician Leadership Appointments Dr. Kayler as Program Director and Dr. Zachariah as Medical Director

Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) Corporation officials today announced the appointments of Liise Kayler, M.D., as program director; and Mareena Zachariah, M.D., as medical director for the Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation & Kidney Care at ECMC.

Liise Kayler, M.D., was selected after a national search, to serve as program director of the Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation & Kidney Care at ECMC as reported by the State University of New York at Buffalo, University Surgical Group, and Erie County Medical Center. In this role, Dr. Kayler will provide overall leadership of the ECMC transplant program, effective July 2015.

Mareena Zachariah, M.D., is appointed medical director of the Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation & Kidney Care at ECMC as announced by the State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Medicine – Division of Nephrology and Erie County Medical Center. Dr. Zachariah is a transplant nephrologist at ECMC and has served in this capacity since 2008.

“In concert with Dr. Kayler, Dr. Zachariah will lead the next phase of growth for the ECMC kidney and pancreas transplant program which is recognized for its long history of providing transplant services to the Western New York region,” stated Richard C. Cleland, MPA, FACHE, NHA, Chief Executive Officer, ECMC Corp. “We are pleased that both physicians have accepted their new roles and anticipate much further success in this program.”

“Dr. Kayler is an exceptional clinician and researcher with passion and exacting standards who will import a spirit of innovation to ECMC. Under her leadership, the ECMC program will accelerate, bringing greater opportunities for transplantation and honing the focus on patient-centered multidisciplinary care,” stated Steven D. Schwaitzberg, M.D., Professor and Chairman, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo.

“Dr. Zachariah is an outstanding clinician and researcher who brings enthusiasm and innovation to the ECMC program. In addition to increasing access to transplantation for deserving patients, Dr. Zachariah is focused on clinical research with a special interest in diabetic nephropathy,” explained Anne B. Curtis, M.D., Charles and Mary Bauer Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo.

Liise Kayler, M.D., joins ECMC and the University at Buffalo from Montefiore Medical Center where she recently served as director of the kidney and pancreas transplant program. Dr. Kayler received her undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada and completed multi-organ transplant fellowship training at the University of Michigan. Dr. Kayler is certified by the American Board of Surgery. She practiced at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplant Institute in Pittsburgh as a clinical faculty member and later at Shands Hospital University of Florida as the director of the Living Kidney Transplant Program. While at the University of Michigan, Dr. Kayler acquired a master’s in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis. Her research focused on increasing opportunities for transplantation by improving utilization of deceased-donor kidneys, educational interventions to promote living kidney donor management and through kidney paired exchange. She is currently a co-investigator on an NIH-funded multicenter study to evaluate living kidney donor quality of life.
Dr. Kayler’s clinical expertise in laparoscopic donor nephrectomy has impacted the lives of many donors by providing faster recovery after surgery. She has collaborated with institutions across the U.S. to improve transplant care, mentor the next generation of transplant surgeons, and increase access to transplantation for those suffering with end-stage organ disease. Dr. Kayler has actively served the transplant community at the local and national levels for over 13 years. Presently, she serves on the UNOS Histocompatibility Committee and is co-chair of the ASTS Bylaws Committee.

Mareena Zachariah, M.D., is clinical assistant professor for the University at Buffalo – Division of Nephrology (2008-present) and associate director of the Renal Fellowship Program (2013-present). Dr. Zachariah is an ECMC transplant nephrologist (2008-present). Prior to joining ECMC, Dr. Zachariah served as clinical assistant professor at Shands Hospital, University of Florida Kidney Transplant Program.
Dr. Zachariah received her undergraduate degree from Kasturba Medical College in India and completed a nephrology fellowship at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (2006). She completed a Transplant Medicine Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin (2007). Dr. Zachariah is Double Board-Certified by the American Boards of Internal Medicine and Nephrology.
Dr. Zachariah is a member of the American Society of Transplantation (AST), the American Society of Transplant Surgeons and the American Society of Nephrology. Presently, she serves on the AST Women’s Health Community of Practice committee advocating for women’s health matters and national policy.

The Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation and Kidney Care at ECMC is the result of the merging of two transplant programs—from Buffalo General Hospital and ECMC—into a single streamlined, highly specialized program that offers patients world class care. The mission of the Center is to provide lifesaving kidney and pancreas transplants, vascular access surgical care, hemodialysis for outpatients and inpatients, and treatment and disease management services for patients with all stages of chronic kidney disease. This concentration of services results in a greater number of procedures performed, a high level of expertise among the medical staff, and the most favorable outcomes for renal patients at all levels of care.

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