The Terasaki Research Institute grand opening: the legacy of Dr. Paul Terasaki

Amy D. Waterman, PhD Transplant News

“We all need inspiration about what is good in this world.” It was only fitting that Dr. Amy D. Waterman made this statement during the Grand Opening celebration of the Terasaki Research Institute (TRI) on September 10, 2017; honoring the day that would have been Dr. Paul Terasaki’s 88th birthday. Dr. Terasaki gave us inspiration on how to do good in this world, and it is our mission at the Transplant Research and Education Center …

Teaming up for success

Amy D. Waterman, PhD Transplant News

Friends and colleagues, I cannot help but feel lucky and grateful that 2017 has brought fresh and exciting new opportunities. In that spirit and effective immediately, I’m thrilled to announce that my research lab, the Transplant Research and Education Center (TREC), is expanding its research and education portfolio. Currently, TREC is an interdisciplinary research and education team that conducts state of the art clinical research to understand and improve important issues affecting transplant outcomes, intervenes …

Explore Transplant: the early years

Amy D. Waterman, PhD From the Founder, Transplant News

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 Education Manager at Health Literacy Media, the organization that partners with and administers ET’s programs …

Each transplant a joy

Amy D. Waterman, PhD Transplant News

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 health concentration in social work training related to previous research I had done on cultures …

Kidney transplant and donation education goes national

Amy D. Waterman, PhD Transplant News

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 surveyed not only told us that they didn’t regret their decision, but also found it …

Transplant, 9,000 miles away

Amy D. Waterman, PhD Transplant News

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 donation. I had never been to Asia and had never been on a flight that …

It takes a village: dual perspectives on a partnership

Amy D. Waterman, PhD Transplant News

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. While working in my first academic job as a faculty member at Washington University, St. …

My transplant origin story

Amy D. Waterman, PhD Transplant News

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 permission from the family to observe. Meet me at 4 pm.” I left my office …

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

Amy D. Waterman, PhD Transplant News

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, social workers, dieticians and secretaries who work tirelessly with those on dialysis, for whom there …

Leaves, kidneys, and elections

Amy D. Waterman, PhD Transplant News

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 so great that just stepping outside causes me to involuntarily catch my breath. I am …

An American poet laureate

Amy D. Waterman, PhD Transplant News

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 the field of transplantation unexpectedly and are blown away by its beauty. Here, people are …

Andrea Spraggins, LMSW: kidney recipient

Karen Handelman Donation Stories

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 I began dialysis,” said Andrea. “However, I decided to remain strong and do daily peritoneal …

Eldonna Edwards: living kidney donor

Karen Handelman Donation Stories

Eldonna donated to a stranger, but she gained a dear friend San Luis Obispo, CA — When Eldonna Edwards went back to college at age 48, she never expected that the biggest lesson would be one that can’t be learned in a classroom. A chance meeting with a young woman with kidney disease ended up setting Eldonna on a path she never planned to take. Upon learning of her classmate’s probable fate, Eldonna offered to …

Fighting the fight (for Chris)

Amy D. Waterman, PhD Transplant News

When I was at the TED Conference this year in Vancouver, I had a lot of big picture conversations about how best to solve the kidney donor shortage. People suggested that we try to help the 100,000 people now waiting for a kidney in the U.S. get one sooner through: (1) impassioned storytelling about the cause, (2) 3-D printing kidneys, (3) growing or preserving more organs efficiently, (4) technology breakthroughs, and even (5) paying people to …

Proposed law would protect living donors

Amy D. Waterman, PhD Transplant News

Until 2014, a living organ donor could be refused health insurance on the grounds that the donation constituted a pre-existing condition. While the Affordable Care Act effectively eliminated that discrimination, some donors still have trouble getting insurance. It could be that smaller companies don’t know the law, or others continue to charge donors higher premiums. Donors can also have trouble getting life, disability, and long term care insurance. A proposed law, the Living Donor Protection …

The dream drawings

Christina Goalby From the Founder, Transplant News

At the TED 2016 Dream Conference, they had two artists stationed outside the Main Stage, sitting at tilted drawing desks, waiting. I didn’t notice them at first. Hundreds of people milled all around them, busy ordering coffee from the barista and checking their messages before the next session. But, I am a fan of artists and I love tilted drawing desks. A nice TED volunteer handed me a pink blanket and a journal and asked …

Living in the light

Christina Goalby From the Founder, Transplant News

I have just spent five days at the TED Dream 2016 Conference being moved to tears by the passion and efforts of people who honor the beauty of all humankind and who are fighting, hard, to make the world a better place. I am a UCLA Associate Professor and run the Transplant Research and Education Center to help more people learn about and consider donating kidneys to one another. This is my first big TED …

An introvert at TED

Christina Goalby From the Founder, Transplant News

I am a TED virgin, the definition of a person who has never attended the Big TED conference before. I am also a TED introvert. Dr. Brian Little, a personality psychologist, gave a TED talk Tuesday explaining that introverts step out of their boxes only for important projects. Know what an introvert’s project is and you know their motivation. Having the opportunity for collaborative brainstorming with smart people about the organ donor shortage is definitely …

Dreaming big is not for the faint of heart

Christina Goalby From the Founder, Transplant News

The TED Dream 2016 conference is not for the faint of heart. I know a lot about my field of kidney transplantation and patient education. Every day in my UCLA research lab, I work with transplant professionals, conduct research, write journal articles, and design and test whether new educational programs work. Before TED started, I flew in early to give a Grand Rounds talk to the entire transplant community in Vancouver. However, I came to …

Love large, dream larger

Christina Goalby From the Founder, Transplant News

It’s Valentine’s Day, a day to be grateful for the love in our lives and the impact we all can have on each other. This week, I have the privilege of being at the 2016 TED Dream conference in Vancouver, BC with a lot of other people who, like me, have big dreams. I work at UCLA in kidney transplantation. I am a transplant educator – you can read more at www.exploretransplant.org, and follow me …