Ajay Srivastava, MD, board-certified nephrologist with Mercer Medicine and assistant professor and chief of the nephrology division for the Mercer University School of Medicine, is on a mission to deliver advanced, state-of-the-art health care to dialysis patients in the Central Georgia community. Backed by the academic resources of Mercer University, he and fellow assistant professor and board-certified nephrologist, Nnamdi K. Nwaohiri, MD, are well on their way to accomplishing that mission.

"We want to empower individuals when it comes to health care in Macon and throughout Central Georgia by affording them access to the best preventative medicine, treatments and healing options," explains Dr. Srivastava.

Since joining the School of Medicine in November 2010, Dr. Srivastava's clinical work has led to the development of a more comprehensive, holistic approach to treating dialysis patients—a multi-disciplinary approach that treats the whole patient rather than just the symptoms of their disease or condition. He has also worked to created updated, evidence-based protocols for treating patients in outpatient dialysis units.

However, the project that Dr. Srivastava is most excited about—and one he believes has been long overdue—is a collaborative effort between the Mercer School of Medicine and the Piedmont Transplant Institute of Atlanta to open a satellite transplant clinic in Macon. The clinic, which will initially focus on kidney transplants, opened in April 2013 and operates out of the Mercer Medicine Internal Medicine Clinic located at 707 Pine Street in Macon.

"Piedmont Transplant Institute has the best kidney transplant survival rates in the state of Georgia and among the highest in the country—for both the transplanted organ and the patient. The accessibility of such a clinic in Macon could literally be a lifesaver for those patients currently undergoing dialysis, as well as those nearing dialysis in the Central Georgia community," he says.

According to Dr. Srivastava, financial constraints and transportation issues prevent many local dialysis patients from traveling to Atlanta for the care they need.

"The availability of a Piedmont satellite clinic in Macon will afford patients the option of having their transplant evaluations performed locally. While the actual transplant would be performed in Atlanta, the pre- and post-transplant evals and follow-up could be completed within affordable driving distance to patients' homes," he explains.

But it's not just patients in the community who will benefit from the collaboration.

"Mercer's School of Medicine has the opportunity to create landmark training fellowships in both Infectious Disease and Nephrology through this collaboration—fellowships that will expand subspecialty training for our medical residents and, ultimately, elevate the caliber of physicians the School of Medicine graduates into Georgia's communities," says Dr. Srivastava.

[Mercer Medicine boilerplate here.]