Meet the Expert: Dr. Kelly Pennington

Feb 18 9:00am | Kristin Eggebraaten | @keggebraaten

We would like to introduce Dr. Pennington, a lung transplant pulmonologist at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. We are so lucky she chose Mayo Clinic as part of her career path. Recently, we asked her some questions so you could get to know her better!

 Why did you choose this area of expertise? How did you get into pulmonary medicine?

I love Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine! Pulmonary Medicine allows me to evaluate and treat a variety of disease processes that affect the lungs. When someone feels short of breath, it can be very frightening. I have the opportunity, along with my multi-disciplinary colleagues, to provide relief.

Describe your specialty and areas of expertise/primary interest.

My specialty is lung transplantation. I am particularly interested in post-lung transplant care optimization and infection prevention.

If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?

I honestly cannot imagine doing anything else! It is privilege to be a part of each patient’s lung transplant journey.

What are some things you wish patients would ask you?

I hope patients and their loved ones feel comfortable asking any questions! Lung transplant is a big decision that may not be the right decision for every patient and family. Every patient should know the best possible and worst possible outcomes with lung transplantation.

Describe one of your favorite or most rewarding clinical experiences.

The most rewarding clinical experience is when a patient can breathe without oxygen for the first-time following lung transplant.

What research have you been involved in?

My research primarily focuses on the prevention on fungal disease following lung transplantation.

What do you think are some of the most influential trends or findings in pulmonary transplantation and research?

Some of the most influential trends currently are transplanting highly sensitized patients with peri-transplant de-sensitization techniques. This may help expand transplant opportunities to patients who would not have previously had them.

In your opinion, what sets Mayo Clinic care apart from other transplant centers? What will patients find at Mayo Clinic that they may not be able to get elsewhere?

Mayo Clinic truly epitomizes multi-disciplinary care. Lung transplant patients require more than a transplant pulmonologist and surgeon to thrive. At Mayo Clinic, we provide world-class care from pharmacists, bedside nurses, nurse coordinators, social workers, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, Infectious Disease physicians, and psychiatrists. It really takes a village!

What are your interests or passions outside of work?

I enjoy being outdoors. Hiking, kayaking, or cycling are my favorite warm weather activities.

What are a few things you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

I exercise several times per week and take time to enjoy hanging out with friends and family.

Have you had the opportunity to meet Dr. Pennington?


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