Heather Marshall Traino, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
One Cap Square, Room 916
P.O. Box 980149
Richmond, VA 23298
830 E. Main Street, 9th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 628-7530
Fax: (804) 828-5440


M.P.H., 2012
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

Ph.D. - Communication, 2006
The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY

M.A. - Communication, 2004
The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY

B.A. - Communication (English Minor) ,
The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY

Research Expertise

Current Research

Title: Increasing Communication about Live Donor Kidney Transplant: A Proof of Concept 
Funder: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 
Summary: This career development proposal combines didactic coursework, professional training, and mentored instruction with formative research needed to develop and test a behavioral intervention targeting patients with end stage renal disease.
Role: Principal Investigator


Title: Sub-study on the Ethical Legal and Social Issues in Relation to the Genotype Tissue Expression Project

Funder: National Cancer Institute/National Disease Research Interchange

Summary: This study will examine the impact of stress and complex information on donor families’ decision-making to inform the consent/authorization process; understand how variations in requesters, consent approaches, and the characteristics of family decision makers affect understanding, recall of and willingness to donate tissues for research; consider the ethical and legal issues of the request and consent process; and, test a novel intervention designed to train tissue requesters to employ effective communication techniques when making requests for tissue.

Role: Site Principal Investigator

Role: Site Principal Investigator

Title: Social and Behavioral Interventions to Increase Organ and Tissue Donation
Funder: Health Resources and Services Administration
Summary: This study will pilot an educational intervention aimed at improving kidney transplant candidates’ knowledge of the opportunities for and process, relative benefits and risks associated with living and deceased kidney transplantation.
Role: Principal Investigator

Selected Publications

Traino HM, West SM, Nonterah CW. Pilot results of a behavioral communication intervention for renal patients seeking transplantation: Communicating about Choices in Transplantation. Under review with      American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

Siminoff LA, Wilson M, Traino HM. Communicating effectively about organ donation: an intervention to improve discussions about donation. Under review with Transplantation.

Traino HM, West SM, St. Clair Russell J. Design and development of a behavioral communication intervention for kidney transplant candidates: Communicating about Choices in Transplantation. Under review with        the Journal of Health Communication.

Traino HM, Nonterah CW, Gupta G, Mincemoyer J. Living kidney donors’ information needs and preferences. Under review with American Journal of Transplantation.

Siminoff LA, Traino HM, Mosavel M, Barker LK, Gudger G, Weil C, Smith A, Undale A, the GTEx Consortium. Surrogate decision maker perspectives   on the return of genetic results in biobanking research. Under review with Genetics in Medicine.

Traino HM, Siminoff LA. (in press). Keep it going: Maintaining health conversations using relational and instrumental approaches. Health Communication.

Traino HM. Communication self-efficacy, perceived conversational difficulty and renal patients’ discussions about          transplantation. Patient Education & Counseling. 2014;94:180-186.

Siminoff LA, Agyemang AA, Traino HM. Consent to organ donation: a review. Progress in Transplantation. 2013;23(1):99-104.

Traino HM, Siminoff LA. Attitudes and acceptance of first person consent: a national comparison of donor and nondonor families. Journal of Trauma. 2013;74(1):294-300.


Traino, H. M., Alolod, G. P., Shafer, T., & Siminoff, L. A. (2012). Interim results of a national test of the Rapid Assessment of Hospital Procurement Barriers in Donation (RAPiD). American Journal of Transplantation, 12(11), 3094-3103.

Siminoff, L. A., & Traino, H. M. Consenting to donation: An examination of current practices in informed consent to tissue donation. Cell & Tissue Banking, 14(1), 85-95.

Siminoff, L. A., & Traino, H. M., & Gordon, N. (2011). An exploratory study of relational, nonverbal and persuasive communication in requests for tissue donation. Journal of Health Communication, 16(9), 955-975.

Siminoff, L. A., Marshall, H. M., & Gordon, N. (2010). Determinants of tissue donation. Journal of Trauma. 

Siminoff, L. A., & Traino, H. M. (2009). Improving Donation Outcomes: Hospital Development and the Rapid Assessment of hospital Procurement barriers in Donation (RAPiD). Progress in Transplantation, 19(2), 1-8. 

Siminoff, L. A., & Marshall, H. M. (2009). The Rapid Assessment of hospital Procurement barriers in Donation (RAPiD): Assessing hospitals for change. The Journal for Healthcare Quality, 31(4), 24-33. 

Siminoff, L. A., Marshall, H. M., Dumenci, L., Bowen, G., Swaminathan, A., & Gordon, N. (2009). Communicating Effectively about Donation (CEaD): An educational intervention to increase consent to donation. Progress in Transplantation, 19(1), 1-9. 

Marshall, H. M., Reinhart, A. M., Tutzauer, F., & Feeley, T. H. (2008). Comparing college students’ value-, outcome-, and impression-relevant involvement in health-related issues. Health Communication, 23(2), 171-183.

Reinhart, A. M., Marshall, H. M., Tutzauer, F., & Feeley, T. H. (2007). The effects of message-framing on college students’ attitudes and behavioral intentions toward organ and tissue donation. Communication Monographs, 74(2), 229-255. 

Feeley, T. H., Marshall, H. M., & Reinhart, A. M. (2006). Reactions to narrative and statistical messages promoting organ donation: A replication and extension of Kopfman, Smith, Ah Yun and Hodges (1998). Communication Reports, 19(2), 89-100. 

Marshall, H. M., & Feeley, T. H. (2006). A normative approach to shaping college students’ attitudes toward organ donation. Communication Studies, 57(4), 435-453.