UF Shands gains top pulmonologist

Dr. Marc Schecter, an internationally recognized pediatric lung transplant expert, joined UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital to lead its pediatric pulmonary division and restart its pediatric transplant program.

Schecter is moving to the area from Ohio, where founded the lung transplant program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and performed more than 100 pediatric lung transplants, according to a UF Health press release.

In a statement Schecter said he accepted the position in part because of UF Health’s position as the No. 1 hospital in the nation for one-year, risk-adjusted survival rates, according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.

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He hopes to take the pediatric unit to similar heights and will begin performing three to five pediatric lung transplants a year once the program gets underway again. Around 100 pediatric lung transplants take place every year; UF Shands’ last lung transplant was in 2019.

“Volumes are important, but for now the emphasis will be on patients’ outcomes and their quality of life,” Schecter said.

The pediatric pulmonology program recently received its highest standing as No. 21 in the nation in the U.S. News and World Report’s Best Children’s Hospital Rankings. The report also named Shands the best children’s hospital in Florida and fifth in the Southeast.

Schecter is also a professor and researcher. He will serve as a professor and the division chief of pediatric pulmonology in the UF College of Medicine’s department of pediatrics.

On the research side, he has authored or co-authored more than three dozen journal articles and written 75 abstracts.

“Dr. Schecter brings not only a wealth of experience but also something I see as critical and exciting: mentoring our younger talent,” Desmond Schatz, the physician in chief at Shands, said in a statement.

Schecter attended the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and joined the faculty at the Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital after a pediatric residency and fellowship.

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