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UM School of Medicine dedicates Lillian Jean Kaplan Renal Transplantation Center

12/10/2002

The University of Miami School of Medicine has renamed its prestigious Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation Division in memory of Lillian Jean Kaplan. The Department of Surgeryís Lillian Jean Kaplan Renal Transplantation Center, to be dedicated Tuesday evening, was made possible by a significant gift from Mrs. Kaplanís son, Thomas.

The funds from the generous donation will also be used to fully endow the Joshua Miller Chair in Transplant Surgery. Mrs. Kaplan, who died earlier this year of kidney disease, was a grateful patient of Dr. Miller, the founder of UMís transplant program, chief of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation Division, and now co-director of the Lillian Jean Kaplan Renal Transplantation Center.

Through the creation of this chair, the School of Medicine is guaranteed the resources to continue Dr. Millerís commitment to improve transplant education and research and the lives of transplant patients in South Florida and around the world. George W. Burke, M.D., professor of clinical surgery, has been named to the Joshua Miller Chair in Transplant Surgery.

"Lillian Jean Kaplan had a bright and indomitable human spirit of graciousness, sophistication and unsinkable optimism," Dr. Miller said of his longtime patient. "Our work at the center that bears her name will be a testament to her and her family in the wish for a brighter tomorrow."

The organ transplant program at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital was instituted in 1978 under the direction of Dr. Miller. In its first year, 28 kidney transplants were performed. Today, UM/JMH has the third most active organ transplant program in the nation, performing more than 500 organ transplants last year alone.