Program Director Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation, Chief of the Division of Transplant Surgery
Clinical Informatics; Community Based Participatory Research; Epidemiology; Health Disparities Research; Implementation Science; Surgery; Surgery - Transplant; Transplantation
I am a transplant surgeon and clinical professor. Over the past 20 years, my clinical and research efforts have focused on helping end-stage kidney disease patients get kidney transplants, especially those who have difficulty accessing healthcare-- typically people of color, low literacy, and low socioeconomic status. I trained in multi-organ transplantation at the University of Michigan, where I also received a Master’s in clinical outcomes research and statistics. My research tackles the kidney supply deficit. To address the shortage of deceased donors, I use national data to spotlight kidneys that are commonly discarded but could have been safely transplanted. My findings have been disseminated through numerous publications, committee work at the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS), and in transplant society task forces-- and have contributed to paradigm shifts in the transplant field to reduce organ discard. To find solutions to expand live kidney donation, I develop and test educational interventions. My most recent intervention was developed in Buffalo, NY, where I currently serve as Division Chief of Transplant Surgery at Erie County Medical Center. My partners are community stakeholders, patients, and experts in health communication, anthropology, and community-based participatory research. In 2018, we received national funding (HRSA R39OT31887) to develop and pilot test an animation-based educational and outreach intervention about live donor kidney transplantation. In 2021 we received NIH funding (1RO1DK129845-01) to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention to mediate donor volunteerism. Meanwhile we have developed a community-academic partnership to adapt the intervention for African American kidney failure patients and build community capacity to improve kidney transplant access and outcomes. At each step in creating and evolving the intervention, we look at potential complexities around implementation and dissemination and figure out how to overcome them both from the perspectives of patients, social network members, and medical providers.