Explore Transplant, The Early Years

Saint Louis, MO – This month we caught up with Christina Goalby, MSW. Christina is the co-creator of the Explore Transplant Provider Training Programs. She’s responsible for the development of Explore Transplant’s Master Trainers and helps to oversee the quality of ET Trainings. Christina has been a nephrology social worker for more than 20 years. Today she’s a Health Literacy …

Each Transplant a Joy

For former dialysis social worker, Marianne Wilson, there was always a compelling connection between the study of human society, its cultures, healthcare, and human behavior—so much so that an undergraduate degree in anthropology blossomed into a post-college job helping low income city homeowners in St. Louis and shortly thereafter, a degree in social work with a health concentration. “Choosing the …

Kidney transplant and donation education goes national

Have you ever wondered why people choose to donate a kidney? And whether these donors regret their decision later? Amy Waterman first became interested in organ donation over 20 years ago when she conducted surveys of kidney donors as a graduate student in social psychology at Washington University in St. Louis. “It was amazing that hundreds of living donors we …

Transplant, 9,000 Miles Away

Sometimes you have to travel a long way to understand that health challenges are more universal than you think. Enter my 9,000 mile, 29-hour flight to Singapore recently, which took me very far away from home to discuss an issue that is really close to my heart, helping kidney patients and potential living donors learn about the option of living …

It Takes a Village: Dual Perspectives on a Partnership

Amy Waterman: It takes a village to create and deliver the kind of kidney transplant education that can really meet the needs of healthcare providers, patients, and donors across the United States. To reach 650,000 plus people suffering from end-stage-renal-disease (ESRD). For those of us who work in this field, it also feels as if change is the only constant. …

My Transplant Origin Story

Dear Readers, People always ask me why I work in the field of transplant. I took a memoir writing course where I wrote a piece about the moment I fell in love with this field. I was 28 years old. -Amy Waterman I got an email from the kidney surgeon that morning. The note was direct: “Transplant surgery tomorrow. Need …

“Social workers don’t give advice. They give attention:” Meet ET Master Trainer Heather Lawyer

Heather Lawyer’s decades long career in transplantation education began by accident in a restaurant. Today she’s an Explore Transplant Master Trainer who reaches out to dialysis providers around the country. While a strong transplant advocate, Heather also believes that the most powerful education helps providers and patients understand all of their options. “I stand in awe of the nurses, technicians, …

Leaves, Kidneys, and Elections

I am attending a workshop in Norwich, Connecticut these last two weeks of October. Here at the Norwich Spa and Inn, walking past historic red brick buildings and a bee aviary along stone pathways, I have had the privilege of seeing the fall leaves at their true peak, literally exploding. The beauty of the red, green, and yellow leaves is …

An American Poet Laureate

Last week, I spoke at the White House at the Organ Donation Summit. People have asked me what it was like. To understand what that day was like, you have to go back in time 20 years. You are now a graduate student in Social Psychology, living on $15,000 for seven years as you finish your PhD. You crash into …

Andrea Spraggins, LMSW: Kidney Recipient

Pontiac, MI — Andrea Spraggins was only nine when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Her kidneys failed when she was 19, and she was on peritoneal dialysis for two-and-a-half years before she decided to consider kidney transplant as a treatment option. “I was blessed to have supportive family members who offered to be living donors for me when …