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

Rachyl Pines 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

Rachyl Pines 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 …

Meet a TREC Fellow: An Interview with Dr. Terri Menser

Rachyl Pines Staff Updates, Transplant News

At TREC, we have assembled a new group of researchers working in transplantation called the TREC Fellows. Over the next few weeks, we will introduce you to each one by summarizing an interview with them conducted by different staff members in the lab. This week, we will learn about Terri Menser and her experience with kidney transplantation research. Interviewer and author: Katia Dahmani, Intern At Houston Methodist, Menser is conducting transplantation research focused on further …

Dr. Amy Waterman’s Participation in a OneLegacy Virtual Town Hall

Rachyl Pines From the Founder, Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Research Associate On Wednesday, August 4, Dr. Amy Waterman was invited to speak at OneLegacy’s monthly Connecting the Dots Virtual Town Hall. OneLegacy is an organization dedicated to helping people navigate organ, eye, and tissue donations by offering coordination and support services. The topic for this discussion, in accordance with National Minority Donor Awareness Month, was improving diversity and inclusion in healthcare to spread awareness about organ donation among minority groups. Dr. …

The Importance of Tailored Education to Address Transplant Disparities

Rachyl Pines Transplant News

By Annika Pearson, Guest TREC Communication Writer A recent study titled, “Ethnic background is associated with no live kidney donor identified at the time of first transplant assessment—an opportunity missed? A single-center retrospective cohort study”, suggests that people from different minority ethnicity groups are not given the same amount or quality of information about their options for managing chronic kidney disease or for renal replacement therapies like transplantation, as others. Research has shown that patients …

A Recent TREC Publication on the Power of a Digital Library of Living Donor Stories

Rachyl Pines New Publications, Transplant News

By Erica Ho, Research Associate There are over 740,000 people in the United States living with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD)1,2, but only around 6500 transplants are performed every year due to a severe shortage in available kidneys2. Problems like limited kidney transplant education and medical mistrust make it difficult for enough donors and recipients to be matched3,4. Storytelling has been proven to be an effective strategy in increasing education and awareness for other health issues …

Surveying Spanish-Speaking Kidney Patients

Rachyl Pines Donation Stories, Transplant News

By Yaquelin Arevalo Iraheta, Junior Research Associate. Using an interpreter is worse than having both the patient and provider speak the same language because it loses the personal and intimate element between both parties. Breaking the language barrier that Spanish-speaking patients face when receiving healthcare can also help them overcome cultural barriers such as mistrust of their provider. One of the research projects going on at the Transplant Research and Education Center (TREC) involves surveying …

New Innovations in Transplantation to Ensure that the Need for Kidneys is Met

Rachyl Pines New Research from TREC, Transplant News

By Rachyl Pines, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Waterman and Dr. Pines are the research committee leads for the National Kidney Registry (NKR), a non-profit organization whose mission is to “save and improve the lives of people facing kidney failure by increasing the quality, speed and number of living donor transplants in the world as well as protecting all living kidney donors.” Learn more about this organization by clicking here. The NKR has been a leader …

Announcing the launch of the Listening & Resource Center (KTLRC) & bilingual educational guide

Rachyl Pines COVID-19, Transplant News

By Emily H. Wood, Research Associate The Transplant Research and Education Center (TREC), has launched the COVID-19 Kidney / Transplant Listening & Resource Center (KTLRC). The KTLRC is a toll-free call center that allows patients, their loved ones, and caregivers to connect with our experienced staff to share their questions, concerns, and receive answers, education, and referrals for additional resources. The KTLRC can be reached at: 1-800-830-0484 trec@mednet.ucla.edu We created the KTLRC in direct response …

Recommendations for making transplant education accessible for patients with CKD stages 3-5

UCLA Former Users New Publications, New Research from TREC, Transplant News

By Grace H. Kim, Research Associate The recent publication, “Recommendations for Systematizing Transplant Education Within a Care Delivery System for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease Stages 3 to 5”1 by Waterman et al., discusses the findings from a telephone survey of 40 kidney patients, 13 support persons, and 10 providers who were asked about barriers to transplant education and their educational preferences. This review highlights the key barriers identified by chronic kidney disease (CKD) and …