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 purpose of this project was to develop an introductory mobile health (mHealth) curriculum model in video format to help adolescent transplant recipients take ownership of their health and medical management.


The initial step of a comprehensive mHealth curriculum was developed for the “On My Way!” transition program in partnership with adolescent recipients, their primary caregivers, and clinical providers. Patients helped test the usability and acceptance of a video targeting transition topics. Additionally, patients, caregivers and medical providers offered feedback regarding the importance of various transition topics and their inclusion in transition programming.

With funding from the Beckwith Institute, an 8-minute video was produced for adolescent transplant recipients ages 12 to 21 who are transitioning to adult care. Currently used during their initial education session on transition, the video provides the teens and young adults with an overview of care, including information on medications, rejection, infection, and healthy living. The video is being used in conjunction with a “Transition Passport” and an assessment of transition readiness to help patients transition medically and psycho-socially from pediatric to adult-based care. A second video is being produced through funding from another source. Both videos will be incorporated into a transition website, which is currently in the planning stage.


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 videos and content designed for this curriculum, which could potentially be made available to transplant patients worldwide,are expected to encourage participation and improve transition readiness of adolescent transplant patients.