Welcome to new Patient, Family, Donor Partner: Kim Soutar

The CDTRP’s Patient, Family and Donor (PFD) Partnership Platform is growing and we’re pleased to welcome our newest member, Kim Soutar. Kim is a patient researcher and PFD representative on Theme 5, including the newly created Mental Health Hub. Our PFD Platform Manager, Manuel Escoto, caught up recently with Kim to understand more about what her goals are for being a patient partner with the CDTRP.

What brought you to CDTRP’s Patient, Family, and Donor Research Platform?

I am interested in lending my voice and using my personal experience to share any knowledge and input I may have as both a transplant patient and family of donors. Hoping my somewhat unique perspective as two different roles can be an asset in donation and transplantation. I hope to make a positive contribution for both current and future donors, donor families, patients, and caregivers.

What are your areas of research interest and experience in patient research?

I have so much interest in all areas of donation and transplantation, particularly looking at patients and donors as a whole person, not as a case and focus only on the physical aspect of the person’s organ and how it’s doing post-transplant. I experienced and recognized a need where some changes may be beneficial in navigating a complex healthcare system, where there may be stigmas, inequities, and obstacles each donor and patient may face.

To recognize each patient’s and donor’s values, cultural and spiritual needs during treatment. Mental health, spiritual health, dietary and physical lifestyles are just as important in a patient’s and donor’s healthcare before and after donation and transplantation. Transplant is a lifelong treatment and as lifelong treatment, and I believe treating the patient as a whole and not solely focusing on how well the transplanted organ is fairing is very important to the overall health and success of a transplant and donation. To also add more focus on the caregiver’s and donor family needs, support and any resources to help them during very difficult, stressful, and emotional times.

What new areas of interest do you want to explore, and which skills would you like to build on?

EVERYTHING! Seriously, I have such a keen interest in donation and transplantation. I would like to learn more about the ethics and policies surrounding donation and transplantation.

Learn what can be done to close the gap on inequalities, how to navigate the healthcare system better for patients, living donors and caregivers. What supports can be made available for all parties involved in donation and transplantation before, during and post-transplant and donation. Ways to increase donation and shorten wait times for people on the waitlist and fewer casualties while on the waitlist.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
  • I’m a bit of a nomad at heart. I lived in several places within and outside of Canada, including Greenland. Now I travel at least once a year to explore locations I’ve never been to and visit extended family.
  • I have written four plays for fringe festivals, including one at Edinburgh Fringe.
  • Hobbies are photography and creating glass mosaics.
  • I live for high adrenaline adventures. Skydiving, hang gliding, bungee jumping, parasailing, whitewater rafting, CN Tower Edge Walk and dining at 150 feet in the air. I can’t wait to do it all again and more once the pandemic ends.
About the Patient, Family and Donor Partnership Platform

A strong, central feature of the CDTRP, the Patient, Family and Donor (PFD) Partnership Platform gives patients, caregivers and living donors a voice while offering an environment to collaborate between families, investigators, project leads and CDTRP Themes. Nationwide patient, family and donor participation is a research priority in all CDTRP projects, contributing to the transfer of knowledge and positive impact on transplantation and donation in Canada.

Learn more on the PFD Platform here.