Center for Transplantation

Sunil K. Patel MD., FRCSEd., MBA

UMC Program Director and Primary Surgeon
Dr Patel, is an American Board of Surgery certified General and Transplant Surgeon who specializes in Kidney and Pancreas Transplant surgery, Vascular Access surgery and Laparoscopic peritoneal dialysis catheter placements. He moved to Las Vegas from the Albany Medical Center in Albany, NY., where he was served as an Associate Professor in Surgery (tenure track). Prior to that he was a Clinical Assistant Professor in Surgery at the University of Buffalo, in Buffalo, NY where he worked at the Erie County Medical Center and the Buffalo General Hospital. He was fellowship trained in the ASTS approved Abdominal Transplant Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. He has completed his General Surgery residency at the Lehigh Valley Hospital /Penn State Program at Allentown., PA and the Mayo Clinic, at Rochester MN. He has a Diploma and Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in Scotland, UK as well as being board certified in India (MS. Surgery) having trained at the Post Graduate Institute, Chandigarh, India after having completed his medical schooling at the BJ Medical College in Pune, India.

Dr. Patel has completed a MBA with a specialization in Healthcare from the George Washington University in Washington DC.  He has published his original work in multiple academic transplant journals and has presented regularly at the American Transplant Congress as well as numerous other meetings. He has been a member of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, since 2007.   His major interests focus on expanding access to transplantation by improving utilization of organs through improved preservation technologies and better donor and recipient matching.  He aims to collaborate with various stakeholders in Nevada, to optimize transplantation opportunities for Nevadans, a community that excels in generosity and organ donation. 

Eric J. Siskind MD

UMC Laparoscopic and Additional Surgeon
Dr. Eric J. Siskind, received his BA from Columbia University and his medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  He completed his General Surgery residency at Northwell Hofstra University, and his transplant surgery fellowship at the University of Maryland Medical Center.  Dr. Siskind is board certified in general surgery by the American Board of Surgery (ABS), and received transplant surgery certification from the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS).  He also has many clinical research endeavors, and has published over twenty five manuscripts and books chapters on the topics of kidney, pancreas and liver transplantation.  In 2014 he received the ASTS Young Investigator Award for his research.  He remains active in ASTS, and serves on the ASTS peer support group, and the ASTS ethics committee.  Dr. Siskind is passionate about improving the quality and quantity of the lives of his transplant patients.  He is working to improve access to transplantation for all the citizens of Nevada through greater outreach, and clinical initiatives to strengthen the living donor and deceased donor kidney and pancreas transplantation programs at UMC.  

Ayoola Adekile, MD

UMC Primary Transplant Nephrologist
Dr. Adekile completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center in 2006. He then pursued a general nephrology fellowship and transplant nephrology fellowship also at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. He is a clinical assistant professor at the Department of Medicine at the University of Nevada School of Medicine. He is a partner at Kidney Specialists of Southern Nevada. Dr. Adekile works closely with the rest of the transplant team in providing state-of-the-art pre-operative and post-operative care to kidney transplant patients. He participates in the teaching and mentoring of internal medicine residents at UMC.

Gwenda Broeren, Esq., NE-BC

NVUM Transplant Administrator
Director, UMC Center for Transplantation

Gwenda is a board certified nurse executive as well as an attorney. She joined the Center in 2014 and focuses on growth, market share, cost containment, revenue management and generating margin for the transplant program. Organ transplantation is the most intensely monitored medical specialty in the United States, regulated by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and her background is uniquely suited for the position. Gwenda obtained nursing degrees from Parkland College and the University of Illinois and earned her law degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Gwenda practiced as a civil litigator focusing on medical malpractice. She is a USAF Veteran and a certified flight nurse.

Dave Tyrell, BSN

UMC Transplant Clinical Manager
Dave is the Clinical Supervisor in the Center for Transplantation at UMC. Dave received a Bachelor of Science degree from UNLV School of Nursing in 2006. After graduation, Dave secured a job with University Medical Center in October of 2006. He started his career with UMC working with ESRD patients and eventually worked with post-op kidney transplant patients in the transplant unit 1400. Dave has been the clinical supervisor in the Center for Transplantation since December of 2016. He is an active member of the Nevada Nurses Association and served as its state president from October 2016 through October 2018. In addition to the NNA, Dave is also an executive board member for Nevada Nurses Foundation, a member of Southern Nevada Black Nurses Association, a member of Nevada Men in Nursing, and a member of Holistic Nurses of Nevada. He also sits on the advisory boards for Arizona College of Nursing. In his spare time, he enjoys travelling, photography, and running.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Dave moved to Las Vegas Nevada in 1995. He is married to Lynn Comis-Tyrell and the proud father of four daughters, Andrea, Nicole, Lee and Jordan.

Syed I. Shah, MD, FACP, FASN

UMC Transplant Nephrologist
Dr. Syed Shah completed his internal medicine residency training at State University of New York (SUNY) Brooklyn, New York in 2005. He then completed a general nephrology fellowship followed by transplant nephrology fellowship at the same institution. Dr. Shah is board-certified in both internal medicine and nephrology. He has attained fellowship in the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Nephrology. He is also an active member of the American Society of Transplantation, American Medical Association, Renal Physician Association and the National Kidney Foundation. Dr. Shah works toward promoting better kidney health in general and long-term renal transplant outcomes in kidney transplant patients. Dr. Shah worked as an assistant professor of research in internal medicine at SUNY Downstate in NY before moving to Las Vegas to join the UMC Center for Transplantation. Dr Shah was selected by Castle Connolly as a Top Doctor in the field of nephrology in Las Vegas for 2010 and 2011.

Dr. Shadi Nijim, MD

UMC Transplant Nephrologist
Dr. Nijim completed his residency training in Internal medicine at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland hospital in Michigan. He then pursued a general nephrology training at University of Arizona.
Due to long term interest in kidney transplantation, he then pursued further training in kidney transplantation at Johns Hopkins hospital. Once he completed his transplant nephrology fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital, then he joined the faculty there as a transplant nephrologist. His experience at Johns Hopkins hospital enriched his knowledge and skills in managing kidney transplant patients. Dr. Nijim moved to Las Vegas in 2016 to be part of the transplant team at UMC. Dr. Nijim is a member of the American Society of Nephrology and the American society of transplantation. Dr. Nijim's research interest is focused on antibody mediated rejection, T- Cell mediated rejection, BK nephropathy and recurrence of glomerulonephritis post kidney transplantation.

Mario Paquette-Delcollo

Management Analyst
Mario Paquette, LPN joined the UMC Center for Transplantation in May of 2007 as a Data Coordinator. He brings over twenty years of nursing experience to the position and works closely with the Director to oversee the Quality and Performance Improvement Plan. He uses his clinical expertise to ensure the accurate reporting of data to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Mario provides nursing support in the clinical arena as well. Mario attended the UNOS Primer Understanding UNOS Data Reporting and regularly participates in the Region 5 Transplant Collaboratives and Business Meetings. He is Transplant Chairperson of the Safety Committee and is actively engaged in program development.

Michael Jaleco, RN, BSN

UMC Transplant Coordinator
Michael has been a Registered Nurse since 1991. He initially started nursing in the Philippines. He moved to the United States in 1994 and since, has worked in long-term care, acute care, med/surg and intensive care. Most recently, he has worked as a transplant case manager for one of the nation’s largest managed care organizations. His prior experience as a transplant case manager enabled him to witness this unprecedented change in healthcare delivery, and permitted him to work with the members to navigate through the various transplant processes. He joined the UMC Transplant Team on February 2014, which has allowed him to work even more closely with the kidney transplant population. As a post-transplant coordinator, Michael helps patients achieve a successful kidney transplant.

Dina R. Acuna, BSN

UMC Transplant Coordinator
Graduated at University of Santo Thomas in the Philippines and been a nurse for 33 years. Came to the USA and started working at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in New Jersey from 1990 to 2003, during those years I had the privilege to work in Medical/Surgical unit, Telemetry, ICU RCU, Renal Unit, and Dialysis Chronic and Acute setting. Then moved to Nevada and worked for DaVita Dialysis Center from 2003 till December 2017 (In-Center Hemodialysis, Peritoneal Dialysis and Home Hemodialysis). The best part there was that I was given a chance to train patients to do their own dialysis treatment in their home environment. I enjoyed those years and learned much professionally about myself. My focus on team work and collaboration wasn’t yet satisfied and it was clear that once I transitioned to dialysis clinics that I found my ultimate passion for nursing collaborating with patients and staff. I then had the opportunity to join UMC Center for Transplantation in December of 2017. Through growth and development, I grew more interested in how to expand my knowledge and help patients in need and working in the center for transplantation fulfills those goals. I learn more everyday while collaborating and working with Transplant Team. I work with a purpose to help those in the transplant process.

Rachel Summers, BSN

UMC Independent Living Donor Advocate
Rachel Summers has been with UMC for 15 years. Her previous experience includes caring for critical care patients on an Intermediate Care floor. In her years here at the Center for Transplantation, Rachel has enjoyed educating and caring for patients on their post-transplant journey. Rachel also feels privileged to also be part of the living donor team as one of the living donor advocates. As Living Donor Advocate, Rachel helps to represent the interests of the living donor candidate, and ensure that they are making an informed and voluntary decision to donate.

Jared Splinter, PharmD

UMC Transplant Pharmacist
Dr. Splinter received his Doctorate degree in Pharmacy from Roseman University of Health Sciences in 2012. Dr. Splinter began working with UMC as a pharmacy technician in 2007 and continued to work as a pharmacist intern while attending graduate school. When he graduated in 2012 he transitioned into treating patient s with cancer at UMC from 2012 to 2014. Dr. Splinter left UMC to work with a specialty pediatric center treating children with cancer and rare diseases. In 2017 Dr. Splinter was awarded the Interdisciplinary Professional of the Year, and in 2018 started serving UMC as a Transplant Pharmacist. Dr. Splinter has been a preceptor to Roseman Pharmacy students for several years and now focuses his time in training students in Transplant care. His passion is in Medication education and compliance.

Samir Mokaddem, Pharm.D., BCPS

Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Transplant Medicine and Pain Management
Dr. Mokaddem received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Pharmacy from Ohio Northern University in 1989 and his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Midwestern University in 2001. Dr Mokaddem is a board certified pharmacology specialist. After joining UMC in 1990, Dr. Mokaddem has worked in various positions, such as the ICU Pharmacy Service Coordinator and the Medical-Surgical Pharmacy Service Coordinator. After working many years as a clinical consultant pharmacist in Rehabilitation Medicine and Transplant Medicine, he accepted the position of Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Transplant Medicine and Pain Management in 2008. Dr. Mokaddem currently sees patients in the preoperative and postoperative transplant clinics. Since 2002, he has been precepting pharmacy students from Idaho State University, Ohio Northern University, and the University of Southern Nevada. Dr Mokaddem recently became a peer reviewer for the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy (AJHP).

Cynthia Hull, PhD, MSW

UMC Transplant Lead Social Worker
Dr. Hull received her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1996 from the University of Akron then completed her Doctoral residency training at Saint Thomas Hospital in Akron Ohio in 1999 and went on to Graduate with her Doctorate Degree in Social Work/ Case Management from Cincinnati Ohio in 2002. She earned her 2nd master’s degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix in 2006 and holds Licensure in Chemical Dependency. Dr. Hull has a National Certification in Criminal Justice, and is Certified as Family and Children Specialist. She is a member of The National Association of Social Workers. She has worked in Geriatrics, Hospice, Rehab, Criminal Justice, and Chemical Dependency programs and specializes in working with Families and Pediatrics. She has mentored Master and Doctoral level social work students. Currently, Dr. Hull is responsible for assessing psychosocial issues that impact illness and recovery and provides emotional support and guidance for the transplant patient and their family during the pre-transplant, transplant, and post-transplant phases. Understanding Nevada laws and resources is critical. Dr Hull rounds daily in the hospital, assesses every potential recipient in the clinic and follows the patient through and after Transplant, managing the needs of the patient and caregiver. She provides information, education and problem-solving resources within the health care system and community. She assists families, recipients and living donors when psychosocial issues arise.

Jessica Rosales

UMC Transplant Financial Coordinator
Jessica has worked as a Transplant Financial Coordinator with the Center for Transplantation since October of 2013. Before coming to UMC Jessica worked in other healthcare operations dealing with helping patients with their financial concerns for over 25 years. Jessica states that what she likes most about her job is “helping successfully guide our patients through their transplant journey by resolving financial barriers”. Born in Guatemala City, Guatemala Jessica has been a Las Vegas resident since for over 20 years. She is married to Ramon and the proud parent of Justine, Jesse and Daniel along with her grand-daughter Ariel.

Marcela Ceja

UMC Transplant Financial Coordinator
Marcela has worked as a Transplant Financial Coordinator with the Center for Transplantation since May of 2016. Before joining the Transplant Center Marcela worked in doctor’s offices and for another local hospital. Marcela enjoys talking with the patients and helping them realize their dream of receiving a kidney transplant. Born in Durango, Mexico Marcela has been a Las Vegas resident for over 15 years. She is married to Henry and the proud parent of Abby, Alyssa, Alexander and Anthony.

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