???Adolescents are immersed in social media and are enthusiastic users of communication technology. They go online to find information, communicate with friends, interact with apps, and play games. We want to use that same technology to help young transplant patients prepare for their transition to adult care.??? - Beverly Kosmach-Park DNP, RN, FAAN, UPMC Health Plan and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC


Grant Application

Beverly Kosmach-Park , DNP, RN, FAAN, UPMC HealthPlan, and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and Diana Shellmer, PhD, Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation

Proposed Innovation

With improved outcomes in solid organ transplantation, more adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients are surviving into adulthood. Transition planning is critically important to prepare them for the transfer from pediatric to adult care — including the development of independent self-management skills and the ability to engage with adult medical providers.

One of the primary challenges of preparing solid organ transplant patients at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC for their transition is the need to effectively engage and communicate with them, especially when they live hundreds or even thousands of miles from the transplant center. The goal of this project is to develop an accessible curriculum and use mobile health (mHealth) technology to reach patients and prepare them to take ownership of their health and medical management.


Improvements in Action

Through this project, mHealth curriculum will be developed for the On My Way! transition program targeting two areas of particular importance for transition of solid organ transplant patients. Two mHealth modules will be created in partnership with adolescent recipients, their primary caregivers, and clinical providers. Patients also will help test the usability and acceptance of the mHealth curriculum. Additionally, feedback will be gathered from parents and medical providers to understand their perspective as well.


Results – In Progress

Incorporating a user-centered design with “expert” input from transplant youth, their caregivers, and medical providers will result in a web-based program that is easily accessible and easy to navigate. The tool — which could potentially be made available to transplant patients worldwide — is expected to encourage participation and improve transition readiness of adolescent transplant patients.