Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

To make an appointment, call 312.695.8900, TTY 711.

Northwestern Medicine Organ Transplant Center
Arkes Pavilion
676 North Saint Clair Street, 19th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Why is AATAP needed?

Researchers who have studied the transplant process have found that Black patients are:

  • Less likely to be told about transplant as a treatment option
  • Less likely to be referred to a transplant center
  • Less likely to be listed on the donor waiting list
  • Less likely to undergo a living donor transplant

Chicago is a beautifully diverse city. However, it is also a very segregated city. ZIP code is not only likely to determine the ethnic and racial makeup of a neighborhood, but also the opportunities to access healthy food and quality health care. Those who live in predominantly Black neighborhoods are more likely to lack such access, which negatively impacts their health.

As an advocate for Black residents in the greater Chicagoland area, AATAP is committed to working to eliminate disparities in transplant care for kidney and liver disease. We are dedicated to the development of a deeper understanding of the historical barriers and cultural concerns of the Black community, and strive to work together with the community to overcome those obstacles. Through our program, we aim to increase awareness, improve access and provide excellent outcomes for patients.

How is AATAP working to eliminate disparities in transplant care?

Black patients may have unique challenges navigating the transplant process. AATAP addresses four major causes of disparities in care:

  • Patient distrust of the healthcare system
  • Limited provider understanding of how specific cultures and environments shape patient interactions with the healthcare system and decision-making
  • Patient challenges to navigate a complex and difficult diagnosis and treatment plan
  • Patient challenges to navigate insurance and social support requirements

How is care through AATAP different from a regular transplant evaluation?

Our patients must meet the same requirements as all patients to be listed for a donor organ and to be approved for transplant surgery. The difference is that our services are geared toward Black patients who are struggling with barriers to accessing and navigating the transplant process. Not all Black patients will need the services of AATAP.

How are patients identified for care through AATAP?

Patients must be referred to AATAP and do not have to be current patients at Northwestern Medicine. Patients can be referred by:

  • Themselves. Any patient who believes they can benefit from the program may self-refer.
  • Former or current AATAP patients. Those who have benefited from AATAP are most likely to understand the value of the program and identify others who can benefit.
  • A physician or other medical provider. Anyone who works with patients in a capacity that allows them to assess for barriers to care can make referrals.