Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: How Can it Help Improve Transplant Care?

Mayra Almendarez Transplant News

Are you interested in learning about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: How Can it Help Improve Transplant Care? Click the link below. At the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to: • Identify how to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop risk indices to predict transplant success. • Distinguish characteristics of kidney patients more likely to drop out of transplant evaluation. • List 3 structural and community-level factors that are associated …

Searching for a donor – tips that work

Karen Handelman Transplant News

By Martha Gershun, Guest Blogger  Whenever someone hears my story about becoming an altruistic kidney donor they are astounded. You mean you read about your recipient in the newspaper and you decided to give away a kidney? How random is that? In some ways, the story is even more random that most people realize. I read about a woman who needed a kidney in my local Jewish weekly, the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle, the last week of …

Dr. Amy Waterman and Parsa, member of the Rising Stars program at Houston Methodist

It takes a village part 1: One more new surgeon:

Karen Handelman Transplant News

My friend Joe Sinacore and I work in the field of kidney transplantation together, he in New Jersey and me in Houston. One evening we ate dinner together and he shared, “My taxi driver really wants to help his son Parsa, an incoming high school senior, get into medical school.” He explained that Peter Rajabi, his driver from the airport, had told him that most hospitals had stopped offering many opportunities to high school and …

Our lab celebrates the Rising Stars program

Karen Handelman Transplant News

Healthcare institutions must develop new approaches to educate and inspire a diverse group of individuals to seek careers in healthcare. The Rising Stars Summer Enrichment program at Houston Methodist was developed to increase the confidence of high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue careers in medicine and to build a pipeline for supporting these individuals. Listen to Dr. Waterman and the students discuss the program and how it’s working!

Transplant patients help each other prevent cancer

Karen Handelman Transplant News

An article written by Dr. Waterman was recently featured on the Sage Perspectives website. It discussed how Transplant Recipients’ International Organization (TRIO) approached Dr. Waterman to help design an online tool for kidney transplant patients who are at an increased risk of developing cancer. Dr. Waterman partnered with other medical professionals, health literacy experts, and members of the TRIO community. The resulting website (Post-Transplant Cancer Project) allows visitors to manage their cancer risk by learning about: …

LaShara Davis

Mentoring program to promote inclusivity in biomedical research

Karen Handelman Transplant News

The Patient Engagement Research Lab is pleased to announce that LaShara Davis has been awarded a grant through the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) through her involvement in the Obesity Health Disparities program (OHD) which focuses on obesity prevention, treatment and community-based interventions. “I am excited to have the opportunity to expand my research to include obesity, which is the single-most intervenable factor leading to chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and ultimately …

A living donor’s thoughts on a new calculator for hypertension risk

Karen Handelman Transplant News

Written by Martha Gershun, Guest Blogger Of all the potential risks facing living kidney donors, three inter-related conditions are typically top of mind – diabetes, hypertension, and chronic kidney disease. Transplant centers attempt to screen for all three risk factors, typically using pre-determined numerical cut-offs to decide who will be accepted and who will be rejected as a donor. Donor candidates are given some information and some say in how these numbers determine their status, …

Living Donor Protection Act graphic with image of capitol building

A good first step…let’s do more!

Karen Handelman Transplant News

Written by Martha Gershun, Guest Blogger A bipartisan Congressional leadership team from both houses introduced new federal legislation on April 27 designed to protect living organ donors and promote organ donation. The Living Donor Protection Act (H.R. 2923) was introduced by Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Congressman Troy Balderson (R-OH), Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA), Congressman John Curtis (R-UT), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Congressman Gregory F. Murphy, M.D. (R-NC), …

Living Donation Storytelling Project home page showing video and 4 buttons

Celebrating partnership and Donate Life month

Karen Handelman Transplant News

As Donate Life Month continues, we celebrate the partnership that the Patient Engagement Research Lab and Sanofi have with the Living Donation Storytelling Project. Our very own Dr. Amy Waterman was interviewed for a story on the Sanofi website. “I hope people will see themselves in the living donors and patients who are featured on the website because those touched by kidney disease are truly diverse. I hope that the shared peer-to-peer stories will impart …

Giving patients a voice

Karen Handelman Transplant News

Houston Methodist spotlighted the work of Dr. Waterman and the Patient Engagement Research Lab in an article on their website. We love this quote they included… “What I find exciting about our work in the Patient Engagement Research Lab is that we don’t assume we fully know our patients from the get-go. Our research uses established methodologies that really get into the world of a patient and hear what they want and need as opposed …

Living Donor Protection Act

Attending the National Kidney Patient Consumer Roundtable

Mayra Almendarez Transplant News

A living donor’s perspective Written by Martha Gershun, Guest Blogger In early March I joined the virtual National Kidney Patient Consumer Roundtable, organized by the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), the oldest and largest independent kidney patient organization in the country, to present information to its members on “Timely Issues Impacting Kidney Transplant Patients, Drug Innovation, and Living Organ Donors.” As a living kidney donor and advocate, I was primarily interested in the last …

icon showing fingers crossed

Will UNOS break their promise?

Karen Handelman Transplant News

Written by Martha Gershun, Guest Blogger The day before I was scheduled for surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN to donate my left kidney to a woman I had learned about through the newspaper, I signed paperwork that would go to UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing, to ensure that I would receive priority if I ever needed a kidney transplant myself. I was scared about the upcoming procedure, but that promise …

Leander family after transplant, circa 2000

27 years later: Sheila’s living donation story

Karen Handelman Donation Stories, Transplant News

It’s a golden anniversary for me! On December 27th, it will be 27 years since I donated a kidney to my husband. Yes, a living kidney donor for 27 years. in photo: (l to r) Sheila Adams-Leander (donor), Eric Leander (son), and Brian Leander (recipient). Eric was 11 years old at the time of our donation/transplant. When we came home from a June family vacation, my husband felt like he had a cold. When he …

Patient Engagement & Research Lab team at Houston Methodist

2022: A year of transition

Karen Handelman From the Founder, Staff Updates, Transplant News

The research team representing the Patient Engagement and Research Lab, now based in Houston, Texas, ends the year very grateful to be together. Thanks to the support and mentorship of Drs. Osama Gaber, Chief of Surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital, and Mark Ghobrial, Medical Director of Transplant Center, Dr. Amy Waterman was recruited to Houston Methodist Hospital and J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center to establish a broader Patient Engagement and Research Lab to advocate for …

Frank Dewhurst, an 84 year old living donor with Paulette, the recipient

How old is too old: an interview with Frank Dewhurst, an 84 year old living donor

Karen Handelman Donation Stories, Transplant News

Written by Martha Gershun, Guest Blogger How old is too old to donate a kidney? Well, Frank Dewhurst of Austin, TX was 84 years old when he successfully donated a kidney in 2019 at Houston Methodist Hospital, making him the oldest person in the United States to become a living kidney donor. Frank graciously consented to a virtual interview with me, a living donor myself, to share more about his journey to becoming a living …

Our first Transplant Games: what we learned from attending the 2022 Transplant Games of America

Former Staff Transplant News

Written by Alexis Bobu, Scientific Writer, Houston Methodist Hospital Department of Surgery and J.C. Walter, Jr. Transplant Center    “Meeting transplant patients and families for the first time was meaningful and fulfilling, adding depth to the work that we do.”   The city of San Diego hosted the 2022 Transplant Games of America on July 29 – August 3, 2022 bringing back the world’s largest celebration of life to the transplant community after being canceled in 2020 …

Does age matter?

Former Staff Transplant News

Written by Martha Gershun, Guest Blogger   “I’m probably too old to be a kidney donor,” is a very common concern for those considering living donation.  I know age was very much on my mind when, at age 60, I volunteered to donate to a 56-year-old woman I read about in our local newspaper.  I had recently received a letter from Be The Match®, the national bone marrow donor registry informing me that I would “age …

Prioritizing patient priorities nationally: Key takeaways from the People Driven Transplant Metrics Consensus Conference

Former Staff 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, …