Cassie C. Kennedy, M.D., studies risk factors important to patients with lung transplants, heart transplants or end-stage lung disease. This includes research on frailty, obesity, and psychosocial and emotional patient factors. Dr. Kennedy's goals are to identify both risk factors and effective interventions to improve such risk factors, thereby improving transplant outcomes and candidate selection.
- Frailty. Dr. Kennedy is identifying objective measures of frailty in patients with lung disease, studying the impact of frailty on transplant outcomes and exploring interventions targeted at improving frailty parameters.
- Obesity and body composition. Dr. Kennedy is working to improve knowledge regarding the impact of obesity and body composition (such as low muscle mass or high abdominal fat) on transplant outcomes.
- Psychological risks. Dr. Kennedy is studying how psychological measures, comorbidities or prior traumatic events affect transplant outcomes.
- Patients' emotional traits. Dr. Kennedy is learning how certain traits, such as attitude or coping, affect the pretransplant experience and how to best help patients during the pretransplant time.
Significance to patient care
Currently, lung transplant outcomes are suboptimal internationally, with a median survival of approximately 5.7 years after transplant. In addition, there is a national shortage of organ donors, with approximately 1,700 patients awaiting transplantation at any given time.
Dr. Kenney's work to further define risk factors for poor outcomes assists in improving patient care by providing clinicians with objective measures for use in transplant candidate selection; providing essential prognostic information for patients and clinicians; and providing intervention strategies to improve patients' chances of transplant listing and achieving optimal transplant outcomes.
- Health Care Delivery Scholar, Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, 2015-2017
- Member, Transplant Network Steering Committee, American College of Chest Physicians, 2012-2016
- Recipient, Poster of Distinction award, American Transplant Congress, 2015
- Peer reviewer, Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 2014-2015; Clinical Transplantation journal, 2015; Transplantation journal, 2015
- Recipient, Transplant Scholarly Physician Award, Mayo Clinic Transplant Center, 2012-2013