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MNIT has a strong history of success in the transplantation field through its commitment to research and educational programs. MNIT’s education programs include educating transplant patients, as well as physicians, both nationally and internationally, who have come to MNIT to learn the latest transplant procedures and techniques. In 2014, MNIT and the MNIT Foundation merged and became MNITF. Following are milestones and highlights that have significantly impacted its mission.




MNIT was established to enhance the science of transplantation. At the time, transplantation was a very new surgical procedure.


MNIT established the Transplant Program at St. Vincent’s Medical Center. The St. Vincent’s Transplant Program grew to become the second-largest transplant center in the United States in 2005. The Drs. Mendez remained Directors of this program for 20 years.


NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TRANSPLANTATION FOUNDATION was established to conduct fundraising activities, manage contributed funds, and support the activities of NIT.


THE PANCREAS TRANSPLANT PROGRAM was created for diabetic transplant patients.


MORE than 5,000 transplants were performed by Drs. Mendez and the Mendez Transplant Team.


THE MNIT TRANSPLANT TEAM began using the new laparoscopic nephrectomy procedure in its transplant protocol. (The procedure is a minimally invasive donor nephrectomy and an effective surgical procedure that minimizes the impact on the body.) MNIT surgeons were the first physicians to perform this procedure in Los Angeles.


MNIT contracted to conduct its 200th clinical research study. A hallmark of MNIT’s history, the clinical research department worked closely with pharmaceutical companies to develop new and better ways to care for and to treat transplant patients.


MNIT trained its 30th Transplant Fellow. (The MNIT Transplant Fellows Program trains transplant surgeons from around the world in the latest transplant techniques and procedures.)


THE MNIT ONE-ON-ONE RENAL DISEASE EDUCATION PROGRAM achieved national recognition at the International Transplant Nursing Society Annual Meeting.


MNIT held the first Worldwide Symposium on Alports Syndrome. MNIT Research brought together the world’s experts on Alports for presentations and exchange of research and ideas that were aimed at controlling and providing remedies for this kidney-related disease.


MNIT launched Fixing Paco, the award-winning digital series in English and Spanish, to provide vital information about kidney transplantation and maintenance to Latinos and those with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).


VIRACOR-IBT LABORATORIES acquired the assets associated with the laboratory operations of the MNIT. MNIT made the decision to transfer its laboratory operations to Viracor-IBT to perpetuate the mission of its foundation, build on the legacy of its laboratory operations, and provide testing services to more transplant patients across the U.S.


MNIT merged with MNITF to significantly decrease overhead and increase stability and longevity. MNITF created the Research Grant Program with the oversight of the Research Advisory Board, comprised of experienced scientific investigators in the field of transplantation.


MNITF awarded more than $1 million in grants.


MNITF expanded its outreach nationally with the Get the Facts! Get Checked! Get Healthy! PSA campaign, reaching more than 165 million individuals through TV/cable, radio, theaters, and online to promote kidney disease awareness and prevention, transplantation education, and increasing organ donation.


MNITF awarded more than $2 million in grants.


MNITF awarded more than $3 million in grants.


MNITF launched the award-winning Linked by Love series and Linked by Love: All Kidneys Are Pink docuseries to provide vital information about kidney disease, transplantation, and living donation to decrease health disparities amongst the Black community. In addition, MNITF expanded its outreach nationally with the Linked by Love: Get the Facts! Get Checked! Get Healthy! PSA  and social media campaigns starring Vanessa Williams.

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