There’s a chance at this point of your life, you might know someone with kidney disease, maybe someone who has needed a kidney transplant — or maybe you even someone who has made the decision to donate their kidney.

March is National Kidney Month. Last week, I introduced you to Kari Kirkland, a living kidney donor who not only made that incredibly courageous decision to donate her kidney to a friendly acquaintance, but who just last week climbed Mt Kilimanjaro to spread awareness, reaching the summit on World Kidney Day. 

This week is the second episode in our two-part series. I speak with Dr Martha Pavlakis, the medical director of kidney and pancreas transplantation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. In just an hour of your life, Dr Pavlakis will help us all understand kidney transplants and donations in a whole new way, as she busts some very common myths about the process that people continue to spread every day.

About: Dr. Martha Pavlakis is the medical director of kidney and pancreas transplantation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where she has held that position since 1999. She is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Co-director of the BIDMC Kidney Transplant Fellowship. Dr. Pavlakis has written and spoken extensively about kidney and pancreas transplantation and is the current Chair of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Kidney Committee. She has led the OPTN effort to eliminate the use of race in eGFR formulas used for listing patients for kidney transplantation and the current restorative justice project to award more wait time to Black and African American transplant candidates whose wait time was impacted by the race variable. She also leads the development of a continuous distribution system for kidney transplant allocation. She is a former chair of the education committee for the American Society of Transplantation (AST) and on the IDEAL committee (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access to Life).

Resources:
National Kidney Foundation
Living Donor Assistance
UNOS
National Kidney Registry
OPTN

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