Current Grants


Providence Health Care

Josie Mackey and Laura Carroll

Patient Mentorship Program in the Heart Transplant Clinic

Laura Carroll (l) and Josie Mackey (r)

Heart transplant (HT) and Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) implantation is a life-changing event for patients with acute heart failure (AHF). The process by which patients are assessed and selected for heart transplantation or VAD can be a difficult journey. Patients undergo intensive diagnostics and assessments by the multidisciplinary team. Patients within the Heart Transplant Program (HTP) at St. Paul’s Hospital (SPH) have expressed, through various modes of feedback, that they would value peer support to help manage these life-changing circumstances. 

Currently, there is no formal peer-mentorship program at SPH for patients in the HTP, resulting in only informal connections being coordinated by clinic nurses. Clinicians working with this population at SPH echo the need for a structured and sustainable peer-mentorship program where both peer mentors and mentees are well supported in their respective roles. 

The focus of this study is to determine what a peer-mentorship program for HT and VAD patients would look like when developed with patient involvement. The team will examine, with their patient partners, how such a program will look in terms of structure, content, and process. The overall aim of this study is to seek information regarding how best to develop a peer-mentorship program which will in turn improve patient’s health outcomes and quality of life. The hope is that if patients are the central voice in assembling a program, it will remove the paternalistic biases that clinicians may have when determining what would work best for the patient. 


Principle investigators: Josie Mackey and Laura Carroll

Mentor: Wynne Chiu

Co-investigators: Erica Johansson, Kim Brownjohn, Kerry Ahn Uy and Katrien Moore

Patient Partners: Naomi Lee, Marc Bains, Jillianne Code and Kristi Coldwell

Erin Waters

The safety and efficacy of sotrovimab in kidney post transplant patients with COVID‐19: a single centre experience

Patients who receive a kidney transplant need to take lifelong medications to suppress their immune system. Even when fully vaccinated, this puts them at high risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19. New treatment options have become available in BC. One of the first treatments available was a monoclonal antibody treatment called sotrovimab. Sotrovimab was used to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 infection in high-risk patients, such as transplant recipients, to decrease the progression to severe disease. There is limited evidence on COVID-19 and treatment options in transplant patients. Anecdotally, the post-transplant kidney transplant program at St. Paul’s Hospital has seen better outcomes in patients who received sotrovimab.

Unfortunately, new strains of COVID-19 have shown resistance to sotrovimab. As a result, this treatment is no longer in use. Despite this, assessing the efficacy of sotrovimab in kidney transplant recipients will provide important data on the risk of COVID-19 in this population and highlight the need for an effective treatment. The team aims to conduct a retrospective chart review to compare the rates of hospitalization, ICU admission and death in kidney transplant patients followed by the St. Paul’s posttransplant clinic who got sotrovimab versus those that received no treatment.

Principle investigator: Erin Waters

Mentor: Wayne Fritz

Co-investigators: Bita Bateni and Odette Bodman

Patient Partners: Alexis Mackay‐Dunn