Explore This Program

Ver esta página en español

About the Kidney Transplant Evaluation Program

Black and Latino communities are disproportionately impacted by end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), a permanent form of kidney damage that occurs as a result of chronic kidney disease. Kidney transplantation is considered the best therapy for ESKD, providing increased survival rates and improved quality of life, but it is often less accessible to patients of color. The Massachusetts General Hospital Transplant Center is committed to addressing these disparities through the MGH Equity in Kidney Transplantation [EqKT] Initiative.*

The Kidney Transplant Evaluation Program at the MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center in Chelsea, MA, is committed to providing equitable care in the communities it serves. Conveniently located in Chelsea, patients can be evaluated for a kidney transplant by an English- and Spanish-speaking Mass General care team, who work closely with local providers.

* MGH EqKT Initiative is open to all disadvantaged patients within this community. Patients may be seen at a different location than selected depending on access, patient needs and preferences.

How to Make an Appointment

The minimum requirement to request an appointment or submit a referral for evaluation is for patients with a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of </= 25. Mass General does not use race as a criteria when calculating a patient’s eGFR. Patients are encouraged to speak with their primary care providers to ensure race was not factored into their eGFR, if calculated outside of Mass General.

Request an appointment

Submit a referral

Our Team

Abraham Cohen, MD

Abraham Cohen, MD

Transplant Nephrologist
Languages: English, Spanish


Dr. Cohen is originally from Mexico. He completed his training in internal medicine at St Elizabeth's Medical Center, nephrology at Boston Medical Center and transplant nephrology at Mass General. He is looking forward to benefitting all disadvantaged patients, including the Latinx and Black communities.

Leonardo Riella, MD, PhD

Leonardo Riella, MD, PhD

Transplant Nephrologist
Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish


Dr. Riella is the Harold and Ellen Danser Endowed Chair in Transplantation and Associate Professor of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He is the Medical Director of Kidney Transplantation and Senior Investigator at the Center of Transplantation Sciences. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at BWH and his Nephrology and Transplantation Fellowship at the combined BWH and Massachusetts General Hospital Program.

Harish Shanthanu Seethapathy, MD

Harish Shanthanu Seethapathy, MD

Languages: English, Tamil


Dr. Seethapathy provides outpatient chronic kidney disease and dialysis care to patients at Chelsea, MA as well as at the Renal Associates Office in Boston, MA. He also attends on the inpatient nephrology consult, ICU and dialysis services. He is an advocate of patient centered kidney care and prides himself on finding solutions that work best for each individual patient. Dr. Seethapathy has a special interest in the kidney care of patients with cancer and has published multiple peer-reviewed articles on the diagnosis and management of patients who develop kidney adverse effects from anti-cancer therapies.

Laura Cornacchini, RN

Laura Cornacchini, RN

Transplant Coordinator
Languages: English, Spanish


Laura grew up in Boston, MA. She graduated from University of Massachusetts, Boston with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, Lawrence Memorial School of Nursing and has completed her certificate in transplant nursing. She has been working at Mass General Brigham as an abdominal transplant nurse coordinator for seven years and enjoys using her Spanish speaking language skills.

Jacqueline Almestica

Jacqueline Almestica, LICSW

Transplant Social Worker
Languages: Spanish, English


Jacqueline Almestica, LICSW, is a skilled and experienced Spanish-speaking clinical social worker. She is originally from Puerto Rico and has worked in many settings and with a variety of populations including adults, children, and adolescents. Her career has spanned several years during which she has engaged in case management, psychotherapy, and mental health work. Her previous places of work include Boston Children Hospital, Washington District of Columbia, Department of Public Health (schools), the UMASS renal transplant program and more. Her current role as part of the Mass General Transplant Center's Equity in Kidney Transplantation Initiative is important to her as she is very passionate about furthering the impact of social work on health equity, helping others, and advocating on behalf of individuals in need of social work services.

Isabella Baquero

Isabella Baquero

Health & Wellness Navigator
Languages: Spanish, English


Isabella Baquero is originally from the Dominican Republic, where she worked as a wellness intern for several years prior to joining the team at the Mass General Transplant Center. She completed her Bachelor’s in Psychology with a minor in Nutrition Sciences at Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island. As the Health & Wellness Navigator on a multidisciplinary team of kidney specialists, she supports patients with chronic kidney disease by helping them navigate the often complex transplant process.

Jennie Cataldo

Jennie Cataldo, MS, RD, LDN

Nutrition Specialist
Languages: English


Jennie completed her dietetic internship at Tufts Medical Center and her Master of Science in nutrition from Tufts University. She has been with the Mass General Transplant Center clinic since 2018. She is a certified clinical transplant dietitian and holds a certification in obesity and weight management.

Harman Kaur

Harman Kaur

Administrative Manager
Languages: English, Hindi, Punjabi

Stacy Jean-Claude

Stacy Jean-Claude

Program Manager
Languages: English, Haitian Creole, Spanish

What to Expect

Kidney transplant program roadmap

Download a PDF of the Kidney Transplant Program Roadmap

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this evaluation program dedicated to minority patients?

There is a significant disparity in access to renal transplant care for Black and Latino patients in New England, communities that experience end-stage kidney disease at a four- and two-times higher rate than their white counterparts, respectively. We are working to reduce this disparity in collaboration with the MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center by bringing an evaluation program operated by English- and Spanish-speaking providers to a community-based location. 

What is the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)?

The eGFR is a number calculated based on the blood test for creatinine. It tells how well the kidneys are working and, in addition to creatinine levels, it takes into account the patient’s age, sex, and sometimes race. Factoring in race results in a higher eGFR for Black patients, putting them at a disadvantage because a higher GFR means better kidney function. This flawed equation can have negative implications in a patient’s access to therapy.

How does Mass General's expedited listing process and transplant readiness work?

The Kidney Transplant Program at Mass General has an expedited listing process, allowing patients to be listed on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) deceased donor waitlist after initial evaluation with minimal testing. As a listed patient nears the top of the waitlist, they enter the Readiness Phase (12- to 18-months before an organ offer is expected). Through care coordination and communication, we ensure the patient is ready to receive a kidney offer. The patient must be in good health, maintain healthy habits and weight, and be up to date on required vaccinations, health screenings and tests. It is during the Readiness Phase that all required lab and imaging tests are completed. This expedited process means the patient can start accruing time on the UNOS waitlist sooner, while the Readiness Phase cuts down on the patient’s need to repeat tests and screenings that may expire while waiting. Download an overview of the patient’s journey through the Mass General Kidney Translant Program.

What are my options for receiving a kidney?

The best option is to receive a kidney from a living donor, as this does not require time on the waiting list and reduces the need for dialysis (among other benefits). Patients often identify a living donor in their own life who is willing to donate their kidney directly to them. We also work closely with the National Kidney Registry’s Paired-Exchange Program to assist patient-living donor pairs that are incompatible. In this program, the living donor will donate their kidney to an unknown, compatible recipient. Then, the patient will receive a kidney from an unknown, compatible donor as part of a swap.

Patients without a living donor wait on the UNOS list for a deceased donor kidney.

The Mass General transplant team will assist patients with navigating the living and deceased donor processes through Donor Champion education and other resources. Download an overview of a prospective donor’s journey through the Mass General Kidney Donor Program.

Can I receive surgery or post-transplant care at the evaluation program in Chelsea, MA?

The Mass General Transplant Evaluation Program in Chelsea, MA, is solely dedicated to pre-kidney transplant evaluation. You can expect to receive evaluation and any necessary initial testing at the evaluation program. Once in the readiness phase, you will be informed of next steps and necessary testing to prepare for transplant. The surgery will take place at Mass General at 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114. Following the surgery, you will receive follow-up care at Mass General Transplant Center at 165 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114.

Directions & Details

Accessible: Yes

Public Transportation:

  • Bus: You can reach MGH Chelsea by taking the MBTA bus #112 from the MBTA Blue Line Wood Island stop or the Orange Line Wellington stop. You can also take the MBTA bus #114 from the Blue Line Maverick stop.
  • Commuter Rail: Take the MBTA Commuter Rail Rockport or Newburyport line to the Chelsea stop, and we are a short walk down Spruce Street.
  • Shuttle Service: The free Mass General shuttle bus runs between MGH Chelsea, MGH Revere, Everett Family Care and Mass General in Boston. Check shuttle schedule
  • Parking: Free parking and free valet parking is available for patients at 151 Everett Avenue and 100 Everett Avenue.

Additional Information

  • Billing: We are dedicated to ensuring patients understand the hospital's billing and insurance policies and financial assistance options. Find information about Mass General's billing and insurance policies for patient hospital stays, procedures or doctor's appointments.
  • Primary Languages: The Mass General Kidney Transplant Clinic care team is fluent in English and Spanish.
  • Secondary Languages: The Mass General Transplant Center also has providers who are fluent in Arabic, French and Portuguese.

Other Kidney Transplant Evaluation Clinics

Massachusetts General Hospital
38 Tyler Street, 2nd Floor
Nashua, NH 03060

Massachusetts General Hospital
Wentworth-Douglass Hospital—Pease
121 Corporate Drive, Building A
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Mass General/North Shore
102-104 Endicott Street
Danvers, MA 01923

Massachusetts General Hospital
Cooley Dickinson Hospital
30 Locust Street
Northampton, MA 01060