The Memorial Service for Rene Chang

May 13 2019
We are sorry to announce that Mr Rene Chang died on 26 April 2019.

IN MEMORY OF RENE CHANG

Mr Chang was appointed as the first Renal transplant surgeon at St George's in 1994.  He was very acutely aware of the very competitive environment as all transplant units in London hospitals were set up 10 or 20 years previously.  He immediately expanded the transplant unit by inviting Mr Bewick and the late Dr Sue Snowden from Dulwich Hospital to join the St George’s in 1995.

To be successful Mr Chang was determined that something had to be done differently. 

From 1995 until his retirement in 2009 Mr Chang organised an annual public audit – anyone who wished to was free to attend - patients, hospital staff and management. This was a new approach to audit in the NHS – an openness that had not traditionally been present.  It was important that there would good results and he started using FK506 – Tacrolimus.  St George’s was the first hospital in the UK to use this new approach to immunosuppressive therapy.

During the 1990s there was an acute shortage of trainee transplantation surgeons in London.  Mr Chang set up an SHO training programme for transplantation surgical trainees at the first opportunity he had.  He also recruited consultant surgeons from France and the Czech Republic bringing with them specialist skills in access and laparoscopic surgery.  The advance in laparoscopic surgery was particularly relevant as UK transplant were at that time trying to increase the number of live donor transplants. To encourage development in the field of renal transplantation Mr Chang also established a research laboratory to look at improving methods of organ preservation and improving viability.

During Mr Chang’s last year at St George’s the unit performed the highest number of kidney transplants ever at 157.  But it was not just about the numbers of transplants performed but also the success rate.  For four consecutive years there was not a single transplant related death and the success was 100%.

Tributes from colleagues in Transplantation:

“Mr Chang’s motto was always to encourage us to focus on quality rather than mere quantity and this philosophy has been pivotal in helping us achieve and maintain our current status of excellence in the World of Renal Transplantation”. Dr JP, Transplant Physician.

“Mr Chang was someone I looked up to as a founding father of transplantation in London and a unique member of that club”. Mr BF, Transplant Surgeon.

 

Memorial Service: Friday 5 July 2019

 

There will be memorial service to celebrate Mr Chang’s life and all are welcome.  The details are set out below. 

Memorial service venue and time

Christ’s Chapel, 14 Gallery Road, Dulwich, London SE21 7AD at 6.00 pm

Reception venue and time:  
The Crown & Greyhound, 73 Dulwich Village, London SE21 7BJ from 7.00 pm
The Crown & Greyhound is about 5 minutes’ walk from Christ’s Chapel. There is parking along and in the vicinity of Gallery Road.

To help with planning, if you would like to attend please select one of the three options below and email to: ReneChangMemorial@gmail.com Please RSVP by Friday 28th June.

  1. the Memorial Service and Reception
  2. the Memorial Service only
  3. the Reception only

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