Improving Access for Transplant Patients

An organ transplant is often the only life-saving option for patients with end-stage organ disease. As the number of patients who struggle with obesity rises in the United States, the ACTNOW team aims to help patients with end-stage organ disease who were previously disqualified from transplant due to their weight.

Access to Transplant through Novel Approaches to Weight Loss (ACTNOW)

Obesity and high body mass index (BMI) can prevent patients from being eligible for transplant surgery. This is because high BMI is linked to increased complications such as surgical site infections, delayed wound healing and lower life expectancy of the newly transplanted organ.

UChicago Medicine’s ACTNOW Clinic – which stands for access to transplant through novel approaches to weight loss – offers a medication-assisted program to support patients in losing weight so they can become eligible for a transplant surgery and improve outcomes after a transplant.

UChicago Medicine is among the first transplant centers in the country to offer this type of evidence-based, effective and comprehensive approach to weight loss. Our expert team of advanced practice providers, pharmacists and dietitians will provide individualized treatment plans to meet your goals and get you on the transplant waitlist.

Evidence-Based, Effective Weight Loss for Transplant Patients

The ACTNOW Clinic team empowers patients to pair lifestyle modifications with new, injectable weight loss medications—called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1 ) receptor agonists. Research has shown this combination of medication and behavioral changes provides greater and more sustainable weight loss than healthy eating and exercise alone.

GLP-1 receptor agonists initially were developed as a treatment for type 2 diabetes, but their weight loss benefit and low risk of harm allows clinicians to use them in a carefully selected, obese patient population with or without diabetes. These medications work by mimicking GLP-1, a hormone that reduces hunger and helps those who take this medication feel full faster and longer after a meal.

The GLP-1 weight loss medications offered are known by many names, including but not limited to semaglutide, tirzepatide, liraglutide, Ozempic®, Wegovy®, and Mounjaro®. Your ACTNOW care team will determine what approach to weight loss will be the most effective, safe and affordable option for you.

ACTNOW Clinic Services

The ACTNOW team sees patients with end-stage organ disease whose obesity is currently preventing them from being listed for a solid organ transplant. Our team supports potential transplant recipients in their weight loss journey using an individualized, medication-assisted treatment plan and coaching to meet their goals.

During your first ACTNOW clinic visit, you will see multiple care team members, including a transplant advanced practice provider, a transplant pharmacist and a transplant dietitian. You will receive a specialized body scan to assess body composition. Our experts will create a tailored weight loss plan to suit your lifestyle.

Potential candidates include:

Supporting Your Weight Loss

All UChicago Medicine transplant patients can access the ACTNOW clinic. Your transplant physician can help you determine if you are a candidate. Find a transplant specialist or call 773-702-4500 to schedule an appointment.

Our team is made of leading experts in solid organ transplant and its metabolic risk factors. Each member plays a critical part in your evaluation and ongoing care.

Courtney Kelley, DNP, APN
Transplant Nurse Practitioner

Anesia Reticker, PharmD, BCTXP
Clinical Pharmacist Specialist, Solid Organ Transplant

Annie Guinane, MS, RD, CCTD
Registered Dietitian, Solid Organ Transplant

Jenna Boznos, PharmD, BCPS
Clinical Pharmacist Specialist, Specialty Pharmacy

Request an Appointment

The information you provide will enable us to assist you as efficiently as possible. A representative will contact you within one to two business days to help you schedule an appointment.

You can also make an appointment with our providers by:

Scheduling a virtual video visit to see a provider from the comfort of your home

Requesting an online second opinion from our specialists 

To speak to someone directly, please call 1-773-702-4500. If you have symptoms of an urgent nature, please call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.


* Required Field

Weight Loss Services for Transplant Patients (ACTNOW)