Project Title: Evaluating the Implementation and Effectiveness of the Living Donor Navigator Program
How would you sum up your research in one sentence?
The goal of my research is to qualitatively and quantitatively assess a novel program to increase living donation at UAB (the Living Donor Navigator Program), in order to inform refinement and implementation of the program both locally and nationally.
Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.
Preliminary results from the Living Donor Navigator Program designed to increase living donation at UAB demonstrate early success, with an increase in the number of living donor inquiries and approvals. However, the program has not yet been assessed for cultural competence and generalizability. To refine the content, format, and delivery of the program, I will conduct focus groups of prior participants to gather information on their opinions on the material, suggestions for topic areas not covered, and barriers to attendance and utilization of material. To assess the cultural competence of the program, I will administer a survey to patients and donors to gauge the ability of the program to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across cultures.
What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?
As the gap in kidney supply and demand continues to grow, creative solutions to increase living kidney donation are needed. Refinement of our program to expand living donation has the potential to impact patients who will otherwise spend years on the kidney transplant waiting list.
What inspired you to focus your research on the kidney?
With over 100,000 individuals on the kidney transplant waiting list but fewer than 20,000 receiving a transplant annually, I believe that improvements in living kidney donation have the potential to impact a large number of individuals.
What advice would you give to others to encourage them to apply for this grant funding?
Take advantage of all grant opportunities for which you qualify, to improve your grant writing skills and gain credibility as an externally funded investigator.