Patient & Family Support

Dealing with a chronic disease can create a variety of social, emotional, and financial issues for you and your family. At every stage in the process, we are here for you. Whether it's making sure refreshments are available in the waiting areas or sitting down with you to discuss your care, UI Health is focused on a patient-centered approach to healthcare, and we will be with you every step of the way.

Social and Financial Support

Our Kidney Transplant Program, features a team of licensed clinical social workers and financial case managers. To make the transplant experience run smoothly, they provide you and your family with the following resources:

  • Referrals for supportive counseling
  • Assistance with transportation resources
  • Referrals for local support groups
  • Assistance with insurance
  • Assistance with housing accommodations pre- and post-transplant

Illinois Medical District Guest House Foundation
UI Health is proud to partner with the Illinois Medical District (IMD) Guest House Foundation to provide affordable housing services for those who must travel to receive healthcare at UI Health. Learn more about the IMD Guest House.

Living Donor Support

A potential living organ donor will meet with the Living Donor Advocate (LDA) to discuss their preparedness for surgery, potential surgical risks, and gain general insight of what to expect. When considering donation, each potential donor should examine current resources and consider the following:

  • Who will assist you throughout recovery?
    • Help around the home
    • Childcare needs
    • Driving to/from follow-up visits
  • How will donation affect your current job employment?
    • Speak with your employer to know the exact amount of paid and unpaid leave time you are allowed.
    • Does your employer offer Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits?
    • How will you make up for any lost wages?
    • What if you were unable to return to work for an extended period of time?
  • Are Advance Directives (end-of life paperwork) needed?
  • Will drug or alcohol use need to be discontinued or reduced?
  • If a donor is from outside the Chicago area, extra planning is necessary for evaluation and donation:
    • Housing
    • Transportation
    • Incidentals

Please note that a donor has the right to back out of donation at any time up until the surgery occurs. The expectation/receipt of money or services in exchange for a donated organ will not be tolerated.

The LDA also can help with:

  • Processing emotions related to donation (both before and after surgery)
  • Connecting potential donors with community and mental health resources
  • Identifying appropriate accommodations if needed
  • Developing Healthcare Power of Attorney paperwork

Medication Support

Understanding medications and their side effects after transplant is a challenge that has to be overcome to be sure the organ lasts a long time. Not taking your medications results in complications and leads to losing that organ. Here at the UI Health, we have a dedicated team of licensed, board-certified clinical pharmacists who work with you before and throughout the transplant process to make sure you get the best medications and that you follow your medication schedule.

Post-Transplant Resources: 

  • Helping to keep your medication list accurate
  • Monitoring and evaluating your tolerance to the medications
  • Minimizing risk of drug interactions
  • Identifying, documenting and managing medication side effects
  • Providing extensive medication education
  • Using a variety of pill-box fill programs to make sure you are following your medication schedule closely
  • Working with transplant social worker to obtain financial medication assistance if prescription insurance is lost after transplant