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Center for Reducing Health Disparities
Working to Reduce Disparities through Research, Education, and Community Partnerships
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Current Research Projects
OPTION
(Offering Patients Transplant Information & Outreach Through Navigators)
Primary Investigator:
Ash Sehgal, MD
Project Coordinator:
Cathy Sullivan, MS, RD, LD
Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health
Description:
As part of the research core of the P60, OPTION builds upon a pilot transplant navigator study conducted by the Center for Reducing Health Disparities (CRHD). Based on the evidence that minorities and women are less likely to receive a kidney transplant, the CRHD looked to find a way to change this reality in 2 Cleveland transplant centers and surrounding dialysis units. In the pilot study, navigators, consisting of individuals who had undergone a kidney transplant, went into dialysis units to talk to patients on how to work through the many steps in getting onto a transplant waiting list. These steps are often confusing and challenging, but with the assistance of a navigator, patients were shown in the pilot to complete more of the steps towards getting on the waiting list than those in the control group who did not receive assistance.

In the roll out of OPTION, we look to disseminate the findings of the pilot study in a more simplified and wider basis. Transplant centers in Columbus, OH, Fort Wayne, IN, Lexington and Louisville, KY will implement the use of navigators in surrounding dialysis facilities in order to reduce disparities and increase the number of kidney transplants overall. The measure of success of this study will not be reliant upon steps completed, but instead whether these navigators increase the number of people on the waiting lists and the number of people who receive kidney transplants.



DECIDE
(Donation Education Conducted in Doctor Encounters)
Primary Investigator:
J. Daryl Thornton, MD, MPH
Project Coordinator:
Cathy Sullivan, MS, RD, LD
Funding Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Description:
With nearly 75,000 people on the national waiting list actively waiting to receive a life-saving organ transplant, new interventions are needed to improve the duration and quality of life of those waiting. The DECIDE study aims to use patient encounters with their primary care physician to discuss and increase consent for organ donation. Using a 5 minute video that was found to be successful in a previous study (see BMV/Organ donation study) to educate patients, and address barriers to organ donation, the study hopes to increase discussions between patients and physicians concerning organ donation.



Intervention to Increase Organ Donation Among College Students
Primary Investigator:
J. Daryl Thornton, MD, MPH
Project Coordinator:
Cathy Sullivan, MS, RD, LD
Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health
Description:
With nearly 75,000 people on the national waiting list actively waiting to receive a life-saving organ transplant, new interventions are needed to improve the duration and quality of life of those waiting. This study aims to use 5-minute avatar-based Internet intervention to educate students, and address the barriers that they may have to organ donation. Helping college students make informed decisions regarding donation might not only increase organ donation, but also reduce disparities in access to solid organ transplantation. The project may also serve as a model for use in other areas of health disparities.
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