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President's Blog

December 27, 2020 Posted by rformica

For the past 20 years, the AST has been advocating and working for passage of the Immuno Bill (officially known as the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act). At long last, after 20 years of hard work, hope, and disappointment, this legislation has finally become law.  Many of us understand the gravity of this moment. Despite continuous advocacy efforts for nearly two decades, we have all too often watched as this key legislation failed to reach the President’s desk.  Most importantly, we have been forced to watch as our patients struggled to take...

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December 01, 2020 Posted by rformica

It has been an unprecedented and challenging year in many ways, but the AST is very grateful for its members, volunteers, and partners' ongoing support. Over the summer, I published a blog post outlining the goals for my year as President. Two of those critical goals for this year include adding value to your AST membership and maintaining financial stability.

Despite the uncertainties we were faced with earlier this year, we have accomplished a great deal as a society. Here are a few...

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October 09, 2020 Posted by rformica

For this month’s AST’s president’s blog, I have asked John Gill, our President-elect, to write about the Living Donor Circle of Excellence.  The Circle of Excellence is John’s brainchild and he has been working on it for the past 2 years.  This initiative is a manifestation of John’s passion for living organ donation. He has been a thought leader in research about the risks and outcomes of living kidney donation as well as being as committed to providing access to this therapy to all of our patients.  The Circle of Excellence is a natural extension of his work and is one of the most...

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August 19, 2020 Posted by rformica

While the health and socioeconomic ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic are at the forefront of our minds, it is the senseless killings of Black individuals such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor that have exposed the chilling consequences of systemic racism. The coronavirus pandemic disproportionally affects Black Americans across the United States, but this type of disparity is common. In fact, racial inequities exist for almost every disease state, including organ transplantation. It is the culmination of these recent events that compel reexamination of our efforts within the AST...

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July 07, 2020 Posted by rformica

Now, a month into my presidency, I am focused on the agenda I put forth in my introductory blog. With the shift away from the ATC as an in-person meeting to hosting it virtually this year, our society has suffered a significant decline in budgeted revenue. Fortunately, the board of directors anticipated this and began cost cutting meausures in March. Additionally, the Development Committee has been working with our Industry Partners to navigate these changing times and design solutions that meet...

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June 03, 2020 Posted by rformica

On June 1, 2020, I officially became the President of the AST. I am honored to serve the society as President and will do my best to make those who have preceded me proud of my efforts.  I am looking forward to working with our Board of Directors, COP and committee leaders.  On an individual basis they are all highly accomplished and smart, when working collectively they rise to another level.  I want the membership of the society to have confidence that the interests of transplant patients and transplant professionals are well served by this group of remarkable people.

Before I...

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May 26, 2020 Posted by eblumberg

As I write this last blog post, I find myself reflecting on my year as AST President. Although the last few months have been exceptionally challenging, the opportunity to serve as President has been extremely rewarding, and definitely a highlight of my career.

I am so grateful to all of you who volunteered your time to the Society over the last year, especially during the tumultuous past few months. Even in less chaotic times, it takes a village for us to accomplish all that we do at the AST and to support its programs. The greatest strength of our society is you – our members –...

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March 16, 2020 Posted by eblumberg

We find ourselves in unprecedented times as we face the first pandemic in more than 100 years. COVID-19 is challenging us all both personally and professionally. We are all working many hours to care for our patients and address the needs of our families amidst the chaos that new challenges can bring.

COVID-19 Resources for Professionals and for the Transplant Community

The AST’s COVID-19 Task Force, including representation from the IDCOP, has been working tirelessly to develop and update resource documents for both transplant professionals and the transplant community....

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January 07, 2020 Posted by eblumberg

It is hard to believe that we have entered the 2020s. I sincerely hope the next decade is filled with progressive advancements in transplantation – the fruit of so much hard work by the entire transplant community.

Ten years ago, the Society surpassed 3,000 members for the first time, and only 7 Communities of Practice (COPs) existed.

Today, the AST has over 4,000 members and 16 COPs. Our Society has expanded immensely and has become more professionally diverse. Over the last decade, we have also introduced the patient community to the AST – starting with a Power2Save...

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October 17, 2019 Posted by eblumberg

It is that time of the year again! The COP Donation Derby has officially started, allowing our Communities of Practice (COPs) to engage with their members and fundraise for important initiatives and projects.

The AST’s COPs do incredible work and bring great ideas to the table. While it is not possible for the AST to fund every project, event, or initiative that a COP suggests, the Donation Derby provides an opportunity for the COPs to reach their potential each year.

What is the Donation Derby?

From now to...

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