Secretary of State Jesse White Honors Transplant Surgeon for Leadership Within Chicago's Hispanic Community
December 19, 2008
Secretary of State Jesse White and Dr. Juan Carlos Caicedo
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White visited Northwestern Memorial Hospital on November 25th to recognize Juan Carlos Caicedo, MD, transplant surgeon and director of the Hispanic Transplant Program, for his leadership and commitment to promoting organ donation and transplantation within the Hispanic community.
During his remarks Dr. Caicedo commented, “I’m honored to accept this award on behalf of the entire Hispanic Transplant team. Our organization has a deep commitment to the Hispanic community and to providing individualized patient care.”
Northwestern’s Hispanic Transplant Program is a culturally sensitive program which is dedicated to serving the Hispanic population in the greater Chicago area, a group of close to two million people. The program supports the longstanding goal of providing individualized patient care by offering comprehensive, culturally-sensitive services and patient education materials for Hispanic patients undergoing kidney, pancreas, liver and small bowel transplant surgery.
“Customizing patient care applies not only to specific medical treatments, but also to recognizing how cultural differences affect the patient. Seventy-five percent of our Hispanic patients prefer to communicate in Spanish,” says Dr. Caicedo. “Many also want to involve the whole family in discussing their medical care, including their elders, who often are the family decision makers and most likely speak Spanish.”
Minorities have lower donation rates compared to non-Hispanic whites and over the past several years the living donation rate in Hispanics has decreased nationwide. Since the inception of the Northwestern’s Hispanic Transplant program in 2006, the Hispanic living donor kidney transplantation rate has increased to 63 percent which is significantly higher than the current national average of 34 percent. This is also higher than any other ethnic group including non-Hispanic whites at Northwestern. Additionally, the total number of kidney transplants in Hispanic patients has nearly doubled between 2005 and 2007.
“We are proud to have built a comprehensive Hispanic transplant team that includes surgeons, hepatologists, nephrologists, nurses, transplant coordinators, a social worker, financial coordinators and clinical research coordinators,” commented Dr. Caicedo. “Thanks to the team effort, we have one of the highest, if not the highest, Hispanic living kidney donation rate in the country.”
Dr. Caicedo is an adult solid organ transplant surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, pediatric transplant surgeon at Children’s Memorial Hospital and director of the Hispanic Transplant Program at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Caicedo is also an assistant professor of Surgery in the Division of Organ Transplantation at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.