Prioritizing Patient Priorities Nationally: Key Takeaways from the People Driven Transplant Metrics Consensus Conference

Alexis Bobu Transplant News

Written by Alexis Bobu, Scientific Writer, Houston Methodist Hospital Department of Surgery and J.C. Walter, Jr. Transplant Center   The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) hosted the People Driven Transplant Metrics Consensus Conference in Bloomington, Minnesota on July 18 – 20th, 2022 to develop priorities to expand transplant metrics to better include what is important to transplant patients, donors, and those that love them. For two days at the Mall of America, patients, living donors, …

Let’s Give Living Donors a Checklist

Alexis Bobu Transplant News

Written by Martha Gershun, Guest Blogger    When I first called the transplant center to offer to donate one of my kidneys to a woman I read about in the newspaper, I didn’t know anything about the process.  There were a few paragraphs on the center’s website on a page labeled “Living-donor transplantation.” That was it.  When I called the phone number in the newspaper, I assumed I would learn more. But the person who answered …

Meet Our Undergraduate Research Intern: Alexa Sokhon

Alexis Bobu Transplant News

Hello everyone! My name is Alexa Sokhon and I am from Lebanon. I am an upcoming senior at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology with a minor in Medical Humanities. This summer, I had the prestigious opportunity to be a research intern with the Department of Surgery and J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center at the Houston Methodist Hospital. I worked alongside Dr. LaShara Davis and Dr. Amy Waterman, who leads …

Telling Your Story: The Power of Online Storytelling for Living Kidney Donors

Alexis Bobu Transplant News

By Martha Gershun, Guest Blogger  Sharing stories helps people connect and learn from each other in powerful and unique ways. It also allows the storyteller to process their own experiences as they structure and organize their personal narrative to offer to others. The Living Digital Storytelling Project is a compelling, user-friendly platform for real-life living donation stories that provides first-person information about the challenges and benefits of living kidney donation in order to help others …

Mentoring Program to Promote Inclusivity in Biomedical Research

Alexis Bobu Transplant News

Written by Vandana Suresh, PhD, Communication & External Relations, Houston Methodist Academic Institute    Houston Methodist’s Amy Waterman and LaShara Davis are participating in the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Programs to Increase Diversity Among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research.  Even before his official foray into politics, former President Barack Obama looked up to South African leader-humanitarian-activist Nelson Mandela for inspiration — Mandela’s release from prison gave Obama “a sense of what human beings can …

A Belated Explanation and an Interconnected Possibility by Amy Waterman, Ph.D.

Alexis Bobu Transplant News

At the end of June, I will have worked at Houston Methodist Hospital and J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center for nine months as Director of Patient Engagement, Diversity, and Education. A common question that I continue to hear is, “Why did you move from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Terasaki institute for Biomedical Innovation (TIBI) to Houston, Texas?” Here is my belated explanation. It is true that my professional experience working at …

Martha Gershun with her book cover Kidney to Share

Kidney to Share

Karen Handelman Donation Stories, New Publications, Transplant News

Introducing Martha Gershun, New Living Donation Guest Blogger In 2018 I donated a kidney at the Mayo Clinic to a woman I read about in the newspaper (1). Deb Porter Gil was in her mid-50s; the mother of two young adult daughters; a retired attorney, raised in Kansas City, where I lived; who had recently moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Decades before, while still in law school in Kansas City, Deb had been diagnosed with …

New Opportunities Await!

Erica Ho From the Founder, Staff Updates, Transplant News

I want to thank everyone associated with the Terasaki Institute of Biomedical Innovation for the incredible opportunity to serve as the Deputy Director of Personalized Transplant Education and Communication. The CEO, Dr. Ali Khademhosseini, the President, Mr. Stewart Han, and the Terasaki Family Foundation have fully supported my advocacy work with transplant patients and helped me honor Dr. Paul Terasaki’s legacy. It’s been a productive four years! During this time, my research team published over …

Addressing insurance-related disparities in kidney transplant access

Erica Ho Staff Updates, Transplant News

By Mindy Kim, Intern The large costs of kidney transplants are no secret; however, the impacts of insurance type on kidney transplant are often overlooked. Most patients in the United States have some form of public insurance (Medicare or Medicaid), private insurance, or are uninsured. In 2018, 32.3% of patients with prevalent end-stage renal disease only had Medicare coverage, 20.8% had non-Medicare insurance, and the remainder of patients had some form of dual or add-on …

TREC partners with Transplant Recipients International Organization to launch the Post-Transplant Cancer Project

Erica Ho Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Senior Research and Education Associate Post-transplant cancer (PTC) is one of the leading causes of death among organ and tissue transplant recipients. This is because the immunosuppressive medicines recipients need to take to prevent graft rejection weakens their immune system, increasing their risk of developing cancer by 2-3 times compared to the general population.1 However, many cancers, if detected early enough, can be treated and transplant recipients can continue living long and …

A recap of Dr. Waterman’s participation at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s virtual public webinar

Erica Ho Talks and Presentations, Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Senior Research & Education Associate On Friday April 16, Dr. Amy Waterman spoke at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s virtual public webinar, “A Fairer and More Equitable, Cost-Effective, and Transparent System of Donor Organ Procurement, Allocation, and Distribution”. This webinar was held to educate the public on two important aspects of the current state of deceased donor organ transplantation in the country. The morning session comprised of medical leaders …

Highlights from the “What do I need to know about the COVID-19 vaccines & transplant vaccine trial” panel

Erica Ho COVID-19, Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Research and Education Associate With the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out, kidney and transplant patients have had many important questions about how the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines may affect their health and treatment regimens. To help get these questions answered, the Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation and its Deputy Director, Dr. Amy Waterman, hosted an informational panel called, “What do I need to know about the COVID-19 vaccines & …

The global burden of chronic kidney disease

Erica Ho Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Research Associate Did you know that approximately 13% of the world’s population has chronic kidney disease (CKD), and over 10% have end-stage kidney failure1? In the 1990’s, CKD was the 17th most common cause of death in the world, but has risen to 12th by 20172. This may be because previous efforts to reduce CKD and CKD-related mortality either have not been successful, or do not exist. This is an even more …

2020 Year in Review: championing patient-centered work

UCLA Former Users Staff Updates, Transplant News

By Brian Ha, Intern With 2020 winding down, let’s take a moment to reflect on all that we have accomplished this year for the transplant and living donation community. Together with our partners, we launched the COVID-19 Kidney / Transplant Listening and Resource Center, designed new education for living donors and transplant recipients in partnership with the community, presented our work on digital storytelling and innovative education tools at talks and conferences hosted by the …

COVID-19 vaccine vials

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs and Recommendations for Transplant Patients

Karen Handelman COVID-19, From the Founder, Transplant News

At the Transplant Research and Education Center (TREC), we believe that rapid communication of information about COVID-19 vaccination to transplant patients and ongoing monitoring of patient outcomes are two important ways to keep our patients safe as we move forward into 2021. In the recent weeks, one of the many SARS-COV-2 vaccines being developed in the United States has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization. This vaccine …

The importance of tailored health education for patients: an interview with Jill Scherrey

UCLA Former Users Staff Updates, Transplant News

By Kimberly Sanchez, Intern In health care, knowledge is power. A knowledgeable patient is able to make informed decisions about their health and wellness. As the Consumer Education Specialist for the UCLA Health, CENTER for Nursing Excellence, Jill Scherrey, MSN, RN, NPD-BC works to provide patients and healthcare consumers the information they want and need for optimal health. A current PhD candidate at the UCLA, School of Nursing, Jill is a pioneer in patient education …

Dr. Waterman shares about the power and science of storytelling

UCLA Former Users New Research from TREC, Staff Updates, Transplant News

Dr. Amy Waterman, Director of the Transplant Research and Education Center (TREC) and Deputy Director at Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation, has been giving a series of talks about storytelling as an innovative educational tool for kidney and transplant patients at conferences geared to the medical and research community, as well as to patients and donor advocates. As the year draws to a close, Dr. Waterman will have presented to more than 1,000 providers in …

Television and Medicine: patients, donors, and medical professionals respond to new CBS sitcom about living donation

UCLA Former Users Donation Stories, Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Research & Education Associate On November 5th, five million people watched the premiere of a new CBS show about living donation! “B Positive” is a new comedy sitcom following one man’s living donation journey. Drew, a therapist, and single dad, is shocked to find out his kidneys are failing and he’s in urgent need of a transplant. With a rare blood type and lacking friends or family to ask to be his …

Important Takeaways from the American Association of Kidney Patients Annual Patient Meeting

UCLA Former Users Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Research and Education Associate On September 11, I attended Day 1 of the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) National Patient Meeting. AAKP is the oldest and largest kidney patient organization in the United States and its mission is to improve the lives of kidney patients through education, advocacy, and community engagement. The National Patient Meeting is an annual event where members of the kidney community can access the latest news and …

Policy Change to Overcome Disparities in Kidney Transplantation

UCLA Former Users Transplant News

By Alice Yang, Intern Implementing policy changes to improve access to kidney transplants and overcome disparities is an important first step in reaching these goals, but it is not enough. Three major policy changes have aimed at improving end-stage kidney disease outcomes and increasing access to transplants. These include the kidney allocation system (KAS) in 2014, the Advancing American Kidney Health Initiative in 2019, and finally, new changes implemented by the Centers for Medicare and …