The AST Public Policy Committee is a leading voice on Capitol Hill on important issues impacting the field of solid organ transplantation. Members of the Society’s Public Policy Committee regularly travel to Washington, D.C. to educate and deliver the organization’s public policy agenda directly to key federal decision-makers and their staffs. AST also maintains a full-time advocacy office in the nation’s capitol. During its early years, Charlie Plante served as the Society’s first government relations director. Beginning in the early 1990’s the volunteer members of the AST Public Policy Committee typically traveled to Capitol Hill on a bi-monthly basis.
Since establishing the AST Washington office in 1999, under the guidance of William Applegate, AST has maintained a strong presence on Capitol Hill. The office is staffed by seasoned veteran health care lobbyists and government relations experts who meet with members of Congress and staff daily to garner support for the Society’s public policy agenda.
AST also promotes grassroots activities on the local level by connecting transplant physicians with their congressional representatives from their home states.
The efforts of members of Congress who work tirelessly to advance legislation in the area of solid organ transplantation is recognized at AST sponsored ceremonies and receptions that are held in Washington. These receptions have included attendance by the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Senate Majority Leader, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and key Congressional Healthcare Committee Chairs.
During the last 8 years, AST has become more influential on Capitol Hill and many members of Congress and staff regularly consult with the Society regarding legislative and regulatory issues related to solid organ transplantation. In addition, the HHS, NIH, and many other federal agencies, including the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Institutes of Medicine (IOM), and General Accounting Office (GAO) have called upon AST’s expertise.
AST’s Public Policy Committee fly-ins, which are organized to educate Congress about transplantation issues, have been well received and are highly effective.
The Society also participates in advisory commissions including the President's Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation (ACOT) and the White House Commission on Bioethics.
The AST has been instrumental in assisting federal and state public policy decision-makers in the crafting and formation of a variety of legislative and regulatory initiatives. Information is provided to Congress and key officials in the Executive Branch about the organization’s views and positions as determined by the Public Policy Committee and the Board of Directors. Through these efforts, the AST represents the interests of physicians, scientists and other transplantation professionals.
The American Society of Transplantation
“Celebrating 25 Years of Promoting Excellence in the Field of Transplantation”
The American Society of Transplantation is an international organization of professionals dedicated to advancing the field of transplantation and improving patient care by promoting research, education, advocacy, and organ donation.