Dr. Evelyn Hsu, Seattle Children’s division chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, calls liver transplantation a miracle. “You take a kid who is basically right at the edge, almost dying. You grab them back from the jaws of death and give them a liver transplant, and they are essentially restored to life.” Her vision is to move every child off the transplant list with a 100 percent survival rate so they can live their best life. (Read: “We’re Not Just Transplanting Organs, We’re Transplanting Lives,” an incredible story about the Hurtado family and their four children who have maple syrup urine disease.)

Dr. Hsu is passionate about research. “Every day, we ask ourselves, ‘What are the pressing questions families want answers to?’ And then we determine how we can work quickly and collaboratively, leveraging registries and big data, to find out the answers,” Hsu says.

The question of why some children have better outcomes than others is one that drives her continually.

“The answer to the why is often racism,” Dr. Hsu says. “It’s structural racism, institutional racism, interpersonal racism that makes it so one child lives while another dies. I think that at my root, I can’t accept that. I’ve been told, ‘good luck,’ or ‘you have to be patient’ — but I simply don’t find those answers acceptable.”

Dr. Hsu’s work has helped reshape national policies on pediatric liver allocation to better prioritize pediatric patients who are on the liver waitlist. She serves in leadership roles on key national committees that drive advocacy and policy change for liver transplants.

To learn more about Dr. Hsu’s passion for kids, research, equity and better outcomes, read Seattle Children’s recent On the Pulse article, “Achieving Racial Equity in Transplants: Seattle Children’s Dr. Evelyn Hsu’s Mission.”

Seattle Children’s has the only pediatric liver transplant program in the Pacific Northwest. The hospital has some of the best liver transplant outcomes in the nation — including a 100 percent one-year survival rate.  Learn more about our Liver Transplant Program.

Meet Dr. Hsu in this 30-second video.

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