GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health announced Tuesday that it has hired Reda Girgis, M.D., to serve as medical director for its lung transplant program. He comes from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and started last week as a member of the Spectrum Health Medical Group.

Girgis will head a multidisciplinary team that will evaluate recipients for lung transplantation, and provide preoperative and follow-up care. He will work closely with the cardiothoracic surgical team headed by heart and lung transplant surgeon Ashgar Khaghani, M.D. In addition, he joins other Spectrum Health pulmonologists in caring for patients with advanced lung disease.

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“We are fortunate to have a physician of Dr. Girgis’ ability and stature to head our latest transplant endeavor,” said Matthew Van Vranken, executive vice president, Spectrum Health Delivery System.  “He will build another critical service we can provide to the people of West Michigan. His arrival is an important step as we build a regional transplantation program.”

One of Girgis’ primary tasks this summer will be completing applications for both a lung and combined heart-lung transplant program to the United Network for Organ Sharing, a private, non-profit organization that manages the U.S. organ transplant system. Once the programs receive UNOS approval, Spectrum Health can begin listing patients for these transplants.

Girgis grew up in Grand Blanc, and earned his medical degree at the University of Cairo in his native Egypt. He completed both his internal medicine residency and pulmonary and critical care fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. In addition, he obtained advanced fellowship training in heart-lung and lung transplantation at Stanford University Medical Center in California.  He is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine and critical care medicine.

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“I am extremely excited to return to my home state and help build a new lung transplant program for the residents of Western Michigan and beyond,” Girgis said. “Spectrum Health is a state-of-the-art health care institution with all the necessary elements for a successful program.”

Girgis has been at Johns Hopkins since 2000, where he served as associate medical director of lung transplantation and co-director of the pulmonary hypertension program. He also was an associate professor of medicine in the division of pulmonary and critical care medicine.

Girgis has authored or co-authored more than 75 research articles, review papers and medical text chapters. With a long track record in research, he has been a principal or co-investigator on several National Institutes of Health grants. He has served as a reviewer for numerous prominent medical journals and has held leadership positions in professional organizations, including the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation.

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Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system in West Michigan offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of nine hospitals including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, a children’s hospital that opened in January 2011, and 190 service sites; the Spectrum Health Medical Group and West Michigan Heart, physician groups totaling more than 600 providers; and Priority Health, a health plan with 600,000 members. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer with more than 18,000 employees. The organization provided $176.5 million in community benefit during its 2011 fiscal year.