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Explore Transplant (ET) program will merge with HLM

Explore Transplant (ET), the nation’s leading kidney transplant education program, announced this week that it will partner with St. Louis-based Health Literacy Media (HLM) to further improve the lives of kidney patients and their families, and guide the providers who care for them.

ET has helped tens of thousands of kidney patients across the United States and Canada live healthier lives since 2009 by empowering them through better decision-making skills in the often-confusing and emotional world of transplant. Through seminars, partnerships, research collaborations, and the publication of educational resources, ET has educated more than 4,000 dialysis and nephrology providers, conducting 120 training seminars in partnership with transplant centers, organ procurement organizations, foundations and End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Networks.

In an effort to expand this important work, ET will partner with HLM, effective immediately. Going forward, HLM will manage key components of the ET portfolio, including trainings offered to new partners, sales and service of educational materials, and developing international versions of training materials for Canada, Ethiopia and Singapore.

“We are so pleased to call HLM our partner in the next step of our growth as an organization,” said Dr. Amy D. Waterman, associate professor in residence and health services researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) who oversees ET’s educational programs and trainings. “With their health literacy expertise, we will be able to powerfully educate even more kidney patients, their families and the people who help them make the difficult decisions about transplant nationally and internationally.”

After meeting with a number of nonprofit organizations and foundations as potential partners, Waterman and her team chose HLM, a 501c3 nonprofit foundation, for its skill in customized communications, health literacy for diverse audiences, and the sophistication of its digital marketing. HLM was founded in 2009.  Waterman will remain fully engaged as the partnership between ET and HLM develops.  Recently, ET has experienced an explosion of new initiatives and opportunities in the digital and mobile learning space.  ET needed greater expertise and bandwidth to see new projects to fruition on a national and international scale.  HLM has this expertise, with an unparalleled track record developing on point, health-literate language and messaging. The company’s work has garnered much national attention, including a 2012 Silver Telly Award, a 2012 National Academy of Television Mid-America Emmy Nomination, a 2015 Merit Award for Digital Health, and Clear Mark Awards in 2015 and 2016.

“ET is an important program that has done life-saving work over the past seven years,” said Dr. Catina O’Leary, HLM President and CEO. “At HLM we are honored to join Dr. Waterman and the ET team. Our hope is that we can apply the range of health literacy strategies to the ET program with the goal of increasing access to, and understanding of, the life-saving health information that comprises Dr. Waterman’s groundbreaking ET program.”

ET education will soon be featured as an educational resource on a national website now under development. Launching in summer 2017, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Kidney Transplant Learning Center is an online education hub aimed at more than 650,000 people currently living with end-stage renal disease, more than 100,000 people awaiting a kidney transplant, their prospective living donors and the interested public. ET education is one of eight educational programs that will be featured on the new site.

Simultaneously, in partnership with UCLA, the Living Donation Storytelling Project will launch in early 2017. The project is a pilot initiative to film and share stories of living kidney donors, recipients, and their family and friends using mobile application technology and social media. The project leverages visual and digital stories as a means to educate patients and their communities about the benefits and risks of transplant.

UCLA, XYN Management, and ET, with support from Sanofi/Genzyme, have also been constructing a beta version of an iOS-based educational application, My Transplant Coach (MTC). The app was successfully piloted at leading transplant programs and showed an increase in patient knowledge, empowerment, and interest in transplantation.  HLM is now taking the beta version of the app to the next level by improving the script and visuals, and applying health literacy principles.

Former ET Education Manager, Christina Goalby, MSW, has expanded her role to HLM Health Literacy Transplant Education Manager and now oversees all of these projects. Goalby and ET’s Master Trainers will continue to provide Provider Trainings nationally.

Questions about the partnership between Health Literacy Media and Explore Transplant can be addressed to Allen Todd, Director of Partnerships and Intitiaves, 314-361-9400.


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