Expanding Veteran Care: Expanding Kidney Transplant Services at St. Louis VA

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Each year, 450 Veterans undergo kidney transplantation, and VA’s National Transplant Program is dedicated to providing Veterans with expanded access to kidney transplant care and support.

Anuja Java

VA most recently added a ninth national kidney transplant center, but Dr. Anuja Java, Director of the Kidney Transplant Clinic at the John J. Cochran VA Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, is looking to do even more.

“I want to streamline the transplant referral process and build collaborative relationships with the community nephrologists serving our Veterans,” she said. “Pre-transplant evaluations can take a long time and are resource intensive. It’s critical to initiate the process early to minimize time on dialysis.”

The clinic provides comprehensive care to Veterans with Chronic Kidney Disease and those who have received a kidney transplant. Before the new transplant clinic, Veterans were referred to centers outside St. Louis for follow-up care and lab work. Now, Veterans receive comprehensive pre-and post-transplant care locally, reducing the need to travel long distances and easing the burden on their families while under the care of their VA providers.

Dr. Java also heads the transplant subcommittee under the National VA Kidney Medicine Field Advisory Board, where she has begun working with the community dialysis units and nephrologists to identify barriers to the timely referral of Veterans for a kidney transplant. In the St. Louis region alone, there are currently more than 150 Veterans who receive dialysis.

The goal is to build an algorithm for the kidney transplant referral process and expand the same level of care nationally

Anuja Java, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine

If you are a Veteran in need of kidney transplant services, visit VA National Transplant Program Page or contact your local VHA Dialysis Facility for more information. Visit the VA e-Kidney Clinic and National Kidney Foundation webpage for educational resources to learn more about kidney health, risk factors and health testing.