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President's Blog

June 08, 2018 Posted by dmckay

At the end of 2017, the transplant community saw changes to the OPTN lung allocation system that came as a surprise to many. Following a suit in federal court, the donor service area (DSA) distribution was replaced with a 250-nautical mile circle around the donor hospital.

To provide further detail on this recent change, I have invited UNOS Chief Executive Officer, Brian Shepard, to write a guest blog post on this topic.

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Last fall, the transplant community was surprised and concerned by a fast-moving series of events that resulted in a sudden change to lung...

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May 21, 2018 Posted by achandraker

Setting the ballot for the AST’s annual election is a process that is taken very seriously, but is also probably not well understood by many of our members. As Chair of the AST’s Governance Committee, I would like to take a few moments to explain the process that is followed annually in order to set the ballot. It is a thorough and thoughtful process. I hope that this overview is helpful in the interest of transparency.

Anil Chandraker Chair, Governance Committee 

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Board Structure and Composition

The AST is a complex organization. Board members are...

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April 11, 2018 Posted by rgill

As a member of the transplant community, you are probably aware that April is Donate Life Month. While not all of us work directly with the organ donation process, it is something that touches every one of us. To support this ongoing effort, the AST provides information about organ donation to the general public through our Power2Save initiative as well as our brand new Live Donor Toolkit.

To celebrate Donate Life Month, we invited Donate Life...

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February 16, 2018 Posted by rgill

On February 8-10, the AST held its 6th Cutting Edge of Transplantation (CEoT) meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. Nearly 400 transplant professionals, legislators, and government agencies came together for a lively discussion about the regulatory barriers in transplantation. This meeting brought together the key players to examine internal and external barriers that have impeded the much-needed progress and innovation in our field.

We kicked off the meeting with a “Shark Tank” type of session on the pros and cons of xenotransplantation. Although I am a proponent of xenotransplantation, I...

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January 31, 2018 Posted by rgill

It is hard to believe that the AST has been a self-managed organization for an entire year now. Prior to January 1, 2017, the Society was managed by an association management company called Association Headquarters. Association Headquarters did a great job handling many of the critical areas of the AST such as pay and employ staff, and provide office space and support services such as accounting and technical support.

As the Society continued to grow, we reached a point where it made more sense to pursue the self-management model.  This was a gratifying move in that we experienced...

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January 11, 2018 Posted by rgill

On December 20, 2017, we said goodbye to Terry Strom, a brilliant member of the transplant community and the first past-president of the American Society of Transplant Physicians (predecessor of the AST).  Like so many of you reading this post, I considered Terry a personal friend for many years and enjoyed his endless zeal, insights, and candid (and refreshingly non-politically correct) approach to life.  He leaves a large void in our field that is not easily measured.

Dr. Strom was the recipient of the AST’s Lifetime Achievement Award, our Society’s highest honor. He touched so...

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December 08, 2017 Posted by rformica

 

  Written by: Richard N. Formica Jr., MD, AST Secretary 

  Dr. Formica is a Professor of Medicine & Surgery and Director of Transplant Medicine at Yale...

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November 21, 2017 Posted by rgill

On October 23-24, 2017, the AST held its inaugural Transplant Patient Summit in Washington, DC. We welcomed over 100 patients to this meeting, which gave us the opportunity to hear stories and gain a new perspective – the patient perspective.

I recently wrote a blog about this event, highlighting the sessions and outcomes. However, this meeting was not just for the AST but rather extended our reach to reach our patient community. Therefore, I invited TPS attendee, Amy Silverstein, to write a guest blog post about her experience.  Her words convey more than anything I could...

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November 21, 2017 Posted by rgill

Up until this point, we have not involved patients in our society, but that changed on October 23-24, when we held the first ever Transplant Patient Summit in Washington, DC.  

Many of us have heard hundreds of patient stories in our careers, but being there in a room with over 100 patients, who put themselves in the vulnerable position to share their stories in a group setting was something that struck many of us.

Our members often work with a particular type of patient, whether it be adult, pediatric, or organ-specific. To say the least, this meeting was an opportunity...

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August 24, 2017 Posted by rgill

As you probably know, much is happening regarding liver allocation policy. The transplant community is at a crossroads with the OPTN/UNOS Liver and Intestinal Organ Allocation Committee’s recently released public comment proposal on enhancing liver allocation. I encourage all AST members to carefully review and comment on this proposal.

After carefully considering all the feedback received during the August 2016 public comment period that addressed geographic disparities in access to liver transplantation, the committee spent time considering potential alternative solutions and...

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