January 12, 2012

Grant helps establish mentorship program for living kidney donors

Grant helps establish mentorship program for living kidney donors

Scott Wansley

Scott Wansley

Although there are several transplant centers and organizations in the country offering mentorship programs, Vanderbilt will be the only center in the region offering this resource.

With more than 800 referrals for potential living donors last year, the kidney transplant team saw a need to reach out to prospective donors and provide a mentor to address questions, concerns and provide support.

“We provide extensive education to our donors, but there is only so much that a person who has not been through the process can tell you,” said Scott Wansley, transplant administrator and grant project manager.

“Having the ability to match past donors with those who are interested in donating will be very helpful. Who better to talk to than someone who has already been through the donation process?

“They have already traveled down that road and will be better able to relate to someone else who is considering taking the same route.”

Recruitment for mentors will begin in January when organizers send out an information packet about the new program to past living kidney donors.

Since the Transplant Center is required to follow up with living donors at various intervals, there is a database to draw from.
Wansley hopes to start the training with 10 mentors and grow the number to meet the needs of the diverse population of potential donors.

“Our goal is to establish a diverse mix of mentors to reflect the various groups of donors as it relates to age, sex, race and socioeconomic status,” he said.

“We have already seen a need for this type of service and we want to be able to reach out to those interested in learning more about living donation.

Those interested in volunteering in the Living Kidney Donor Mentorship Program can call 936-5559 for more information.