Living Donor Navigator Program
At UAB Medicine, we are continually developing new ways to increase the number of donor kidneys available to our patients, to help reduce their time on dialysis and on the organ waiting list. At the same time, we are committed to helping our living kidney donors more easily navigate the donation process and receive the care and support they need after donating a kidney.
These two goals come together in the UAB Living Donor Navigator Program, which is provided free of charge.
What is the Living Donor Navigator Program?
Wait times for deceased-donor kidney transplants grow longer each year. Living kidney donation is a faster way to get transplanted, but limited knowledge about living donation and discomfort in discussing such a sensitive subject can make it hard to find a donor.
The goal of the Living Donor Navigator Program is to make it easier to find a potential living donor and prevent patients from having to serve as their own advocates. Here’s how it works:
- Patients identify a friend or¿family member to be their “living donor advocate”.
- Next, UAB living donor navigators train these advocates to find potential donors for their loved one and give them useful tools to make the process easier and more effective.
- Once the potential living donors are identified, our navigators work closely with them to help them through the evaluation and donation process.
How does living donor advocate training work?
The training includes a series of four meetings held every two weeks, with each meeting building on the last one.
- Each meeting lasts about two hours.
- A different topic will be discussed at each meeting, to help the living donor advocate learn how to find potential donors.
- On their own, living donor advocates use the information and skills learned at these sessions to search for potential donors and spread awareness about living donation.
- Advocates will be asked to keep a monthly log of their progress, making notes on what worked well for them and what additional resources may be helpful.
- Living donor advocates receive vouchers to cover the cost of parking during meetings, and lunch is provided.
Who is eligible to be an advocate?
Anyone! Most patients will choose a spouse, significant other, family member, or friend as their living donor advocate. The only requirements are that the person is at least 18 years old and speaks English, in order to get the most from each session.
How do I contact the Living Donor Navigator Program?
Contact our living donor navigators at 205-975-2449, or email LDnavigators@uabmc.edu.
Click here to learn more about how you can share the gift of life by becoming an organ donor.
Medical Minute: Living Kidney Donation
The UAB Comprehensive Transplant Institute continues to develop new ways to increase the number of donor kidneys available to our patients, to minimize their time on dialysis and on the organ waiting list. It also is committed to helping living kidney donors more easily navigate the donation process and help ensure that they receive the necessary care and support after donating a kidney. UAB Medicine's Vineeta Kumar, MD; Jayme Locke, MD; and Michael Hanaway, MD, discuss the challenges and rewards of living kidney donation and transplantation.