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Transplant Hero: Jo-Ann, Post-liver Transplant Coordinator

There are a lot of people involved in the organ donation and transplant process in our province. From doctors and nurses, to dieticians and pharmacists—each and every one of them play a vital role in helping people in BC get a second chance at life.
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Jo-Ann Harrigan is one of those heroes.

What do you do? 

I’m a Post-liver Transplant Coordinator at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH). I’m the main point of contact for patients who have undergone liver transplant surgery for all their post-op care needs and questions. From questions on their day-to-day health and labs, to lifestyle questions such as traveling and getting a driver’s license—I’m their go-to person.

How long have you worked in organ donation/transplant? What made you want to work in this field?

I’ve been a nurse since 1980, so I’ve had quite a few roles throughout my career—mostly on the frontlines of acute care. When working in the Open Heart ICU, I saw many heart transplant patients and it was always of interest to me. So, when this role became available, I took it, and have now been here for over eight years.

What do you enjoy most about what you do? What’s most rewarding?

Of all my time as a nurse, my job here working with post-transplant patients has definitely been one of the most rewarding. What I enjoy most is earning the trust of my patients. Trust that we have their best interest at heart, trust that we’re giving the best advice that we can give, and trust that they can count on us. If I don’t know the answer to something, I tell them I will find out and let them know. When I finally earn that trust with my patients, it’s a great feeling.

Quote from liver recipient Matt Scaife on working with Jo-Ann:

“Jo-Ann Harrigan is easily my most supportive team member within the transplant team. Her knowledge, caring heart and great sense of humour are what makes her so great. I actually enjoy my annual clinic visits because of her specifically.”

Share your story

Do you know a transplant hero? We want to hear from you! Share your stories on social media using the hashtag #TransplantHero or submit them here for a chance to be featured on our website.

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