Education Corner – Developing a Transplant Outreach Program

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Developing a Transplant Outreach Program (Download PDF Version)

What is Transplant Outreach?
Have you ever wondered how transplant programs grow their waitlist for organ transplants, how patients know about programs, or how physicians know where to send their patients for a transplant evaluation and to be listed? Transplant outreach programs are a strategy for transplant programs to improve patient access to transplant information through community education, to provide individualized information about treatment options, and to build strong relationships with community medical providers.

Who should be part of the Transplant Outreach team?
The size of the transplant program will determine the size of this team. There are key skills needed within the team or as support to the team, but ultimately, every transplant program should consider it a personal responsibility to support the transplant outreach program, even if that is not their primary job function. The key skills needed for transplant outreach are:

  • Patient educators/navigators – professionals who can help patients navigate the transplant process.
  • Community liaisons – professionals who can reach out to the community medical professionals and dialysis centers to build relationships and educate about the transplant program and their offerings.
  • Volunteer recipients – former patients who have experienced the transplant journey and can help provide a patient’s perspective to other patients considering transplant.
  • Communications – professionals who can help to develop educational and informational materials about transplant and the offerings of the transplant program.

What types of activities should a Transplant Outreach program consider?
Building relationships with and providing education to community medical providers through:

  • Outreach meetings and dinners
  • CME programs
  • Informational brochures and materials on the various transplant journeys (by organ)
  • Outcome reports and thank you cards

Outreach initiatives to dialysis centers through:

  • Patient education brochures and materials (e.g. Explore Transplant)
  • In-person patient education
  • Reports of waitlist status and transplant numbers and outcomes
  • Newsletters, brochures, and events
  • In-person and written educational offerings for dialysis staff about transplantation

Create marketing and educational materials to provide:

  • Patient education booklets and brochures on various organ transplants
  • Patient mobile app to educate about transplantation
  • Social media announcements, share patient stories and host discussion groups

Institute a peer mentoring program:

  • Trainings for recipients to be peer mentors for other patients facing transplantation
  • Celebrate and recognize the peer mentors
  • Provide a peer mentor newsletter

Partner with other national organizations to raise community awareness and build referral connections:

  • National Kidney Foundation
  • Local programs
  • Patient claims software providers and other payors

Explore Transplant:
National Kidney Foundation:

Special thanks to Helen Costis,Transplant Operations Director, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI, and Jennifer Milton, BSN, CCTC, MBA, Executive Director, Clinical Assistant Professor, University Transplant Center, San Antonio, TX, for their contributions to this issue.

Written by Hedi Aguiar RN, MSN, CCRN-K, Senior Director of Programs, The Alliance

Editor: Corey Bryant, Communications Manager, The Alliance,
This Education Corner is available for download. The Alliance grants permission for the distribution and reproduction of this educational communication.


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