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Joel Wedd, MD, MPH

Joel Wedd, MD, MPH

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Specialty

Gastroenterology

Locations

The Park at Snowden
321 Park Hill Drive
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

VCU Medical Center Gateway Building
1200 E. Marshall Street
Richmond, VA 23219

William & Mary
332 N. Henry St.
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Department

Internal Medicine

Education

Medical School

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Internship

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Residency

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Fellowship

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

Graduate Program

UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health

Biography

Teamwork, talent drive transplant leader to the best treatment for every patient

In Dr. Joel Wedd’s world, the patients are very sick, the decisions have long-term consequences, and there are many ethical decisions to be made.

But for Dr. Wedd, medical director of liver transplant at VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center, his deep training and expertise call on him to be the best he can be and do what is right for his patients and community.

“My goal when I see patients is to provide expertise in a way that shows friendliness and empathy,” he says. “I want them to feel comfortable that they are with someone capable, compassionate, and who has their best interests at heart.”

Dr. Wedd oversees liver transplantations at one of the nation's leading and most surgically advanced transplant programs. Each year, Hume-Lee transplants more than 130 livers into patients — and demand for the scarce organ and life-saving procedure is growing.

“With that need has come understandable and unavoidable new challenges to best accommodate patients,” Dr. Wedd says. “I am excited to help lead liver transplant through these challenges, set up durable systems to enhance our ability to offer the life-saving intervention of a liver transplant, and ensure the best course of care after transplant.”

The team at VCU Health who can rise to those challenges and care for patients, he says, is “outstanding, dedicated, and talented. What VCU Health has created here is a team with shared vision to serve patients and the community using exceptional care and life-saving procedures. Every day this amazing group of people do their best to provide compassion and improve lives.”

“I fully believe that, provided the right environment and resources like we have at VCU, teamwork outweighs individual ambition and motivation in order to provide the best outcomes and experience for our patients,” he says.

In addition to leading liver transplantation, Dr. Wedd is a transplant hepatologist, specializing in treatment and therapy for all types of liver disease. Many of those patients require a transplant, and he helps them survive to reach that point and cares for them after transplant. Conditions he treats include viral liver diseases, fatty liver disease, alcohol-related issues, and biliary, autoimmune, or other metabolic liver diseases. He also regularly cares for patients who have developed cirrhosis due to disease or alcohol use, and may have complications impacting their quality of life.

“As a transplant hepatologist, we have to understand the needs of patients with complex problems, and be willing to take patient experience and desires into account in even the most advanced decision making moments,” he says.

As a transplant leader, he also recognizes the societal importance of a limited number of life-saving, donated livers available. Every transplant decision weighs patient priority and need against organ availability — in fact, one of his research interests is to better understand the best way of prioritizing patients for a liver transplant.

Says Dr. Wedd: “At every turn in our work, these combinations of factors challenge me to do the best I can for our patients and our community.”

Advice to patients
“Employ your support system. Your providers can help determine your best option for treatment, and your team will do all it can to support you. But you need a support system — whether that be family, friends, or a church or other community to help you get through the physical, psychological, and financial challenges of having a significant medical problem.

Research Interests
Prioritizing patients for liver transplants and optimizing care for advanced liver disease, including study of a liver disease-related cancer called hepatocellular carcinoma. “It’s a growing problem in need of advancement of therapies and can be cured with a transplant if caught early enough,” he says. “Early detection requires community outreach and education to improve access to care.”

Locations

The Park at Snowden

321 Park Hill Drive
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

VCU Medical Center Gateway Building

1200 E. Marshall Street
Richmond, VA 23219

William & Mary

332 N. Henry St.
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Ratings & Reviews

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