Hispanic Transplant Symposium Examines Improved Care of Hispanics With End Stage Organ Disease

On Thursday, Oct. 6, more than 100 organ donation and transplantation professionals gathered for the Inaugural Texas Medical Center (TMC) Hispanic Transplant Symposium at TMCx in Houston. 

LifeGift, Nora’s Home and The Living Bank hosted the event in partnership with several TMC institutions, including Baylor College of Medicine, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston Methodist, CHI St. Luke’s Health and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health). 

Dr. Juan Caicedo, F.A.C.S, a transplant surgeon at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and at Northwest Memorial Hospital, delivered the keynote address. Dr. Caicedo developed Northwestern Memorial’s Hispanic Transplant program and served as inspiration for the Hispanic Transplant Symposium.

Other highlights included Dr. Lloyd Potter, state demographer, who delved into the changing demographics of Texas, and Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza of the Galveston-Houston diocese, who defined organ donation as “human nobility at its best.” The program also included a panel on organ donation with transplant recipients, caregivers and a donor family representative. 

“Nearly half of the patients waiting for a lifesaving organ in Texas identify themselves as Hispanic,” said Dr. Mark Hobeika, a transplant surgeon with McGovern Medical School at UT Health and Memorial Hermann-TMC, who spearheaded this event. “As members of the donation and transplantation community, we must learn how to best serve this large and growing part of our community in a culturally competent manner.” 

The Hispanic Transplant Symposium was a step in the right direction to tackling these challenges and providing better care and outcomes for Hispanic patients.

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