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President's Blog

April 29, 2015 Posted by knewell

Kenneth A. Newell, MD, PhD, Emory University School of Medicine – AST President

In her recent Perspective article in the NEJM, Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Sylvia Burwell outlines dramatic reforms to improve the quality and value of healthcare. Burwell notes that the fee-for-service model used by Medicare to determine reimbursement will change to a model based on quality and value metrics. By 2016, eighty percent of Medicare payments will be based on these new measures of performance. This...

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March 26, 2015 Posted by knewell

Every few years, AST leadership has the privilege of hosting an awards ceremony to recognize those members of Congress who support and promote the field of transplantation on behalf of our patients. This year, I attended this event along with members of AST’s Public Policy Committee, and I was able to thank several congressmen and senators personally for their work in this space. As a first time attendee to an event of this type, I was impressed by not only the turnout, but by the knowledge and passion of the legislators and their staffers regarding transplant issues. The day following the...

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March 13, 2015 Posted by knewell

Kenneth A. Newell, MD, PhD, Emory University School of Medicine – AST President

Last summer, the ASTS and the AST held a workshop to discuss the financial barriers faced by living organ donors. All of us who are engaged in the practice of living donor transplantation realize that the entire healthcare delivery system (providers, hospitals, insurers, and the government), as well as the recipient and society as a whole, benefits financially from the practice of living donation. Disturbingly, the donors are the group most at risk for adverse financial events. In many cases, donors...

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February 19, 2015 Posted by knewell

Anil Chandraker, MD, FRCP, Brigham and Women’s Hospital – AST Secretary Ken Newell, MD, PhD, Emory University School of Medicine – AST President Dan Salomon, MD, The Scripps Research Institute – AST Past-president  

The third annual Cutting Edge of Transplantation (CEOT) meeting was held in Chandler, AZ this past February 5-7. As with the first two meetings, attendees gave extremely positive feedback with the broad consensus showing that this unique, high-caliber meeting addressed a need within the community. The meeting brought together experts from inside and outside...

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February 02, 2015 Posted by knewell

In this post, AST President-elect Jim Allan introduces our society's new fellowship program.

Jim Allan, MD, MBA, Massachusetts General Hospital, AST president-elect

In my nearly two decades of AST membership, I have come to realize that a large number of exceptional people belong to our society, yet only a small handful of these members ever receive the professional recognition they deserve. This holds true for everyone in our society, whether you are an administrator, allied health professional, physician,...

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January 19, 2015 Posted by knewell

Dr. Jason Wertheim, the inaugural chair of the Transplant Regenerative Medicine Community of Practice (TRM COP), describes the motivation for founding this COP as well as the opportunities for those who join. The launch of this COP reflects the society’s commitment to providing an avenue for all individuals to engage with colleagues of similar interests and advance the transplantation field. Unlike the new Kidney Pancreas COP, which also launched this year and focuses on a well-established area within transplantation, the TRM COP looks to the future with the hope of discovering new...

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January 05, 2015 Posted by knewell

Structuring our society around communities of practice (COPs) allows AST members to have a broader engagement than if our structure were built around traditional committees. Beyond simply providing advice to the board of directors, as was typically the charge of committees under the old structure, COPs are charged with proactively identifying and undertaking new projects. It is surprising that after more than three decades, our society had no COP that directly addressed the broad interests of those focusing on kidney and pancreas transplantation. The leaders of the AST Kidney Pancreas...

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December 07, 2014 Posted by knewell

Over the past two years, I have been both surprised and impressed by the strong interest our membership has in advocacy and public policy issues. To highlight AST’s advocacy efforts, I have invited the leaders of the Public Policy Committee (Roz Mannon, David Cohen, and Bill Applegate) to provide an update on how they work and on current projects. I hope this will be of interest to you and I encourage you to consider becoming involved.

AST Government Relations: An Obligation to Our Patients

Roslyn B. Mannon, MD, University of Alabama, Birmingham – Chair of the AST Public Policy...

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November 14, 2014 Posted by knewell

In this blog post, Rich Formica discusses the factors that led to the design and implementation of the new kidney allocation system and highlights some of the major changes that the system introduces. He also makes it clear that this is not the end of changes to how kidneys will ultimately be allocated and distributed. Those who have followed the discussion of changes to the liver allocation system will recognize that consideration of broader geographic sharing of kidneys is also on the horizon. As these conversations progress, we must keep in mind the goals of any proposed changes, which...

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November 03, 2014 Posted by jallan

My colleague and the AST president-elect, Dr. Jim Allan, writes this week about the importance of charitable giving by members to support the mission and work of the society. This is a valuable aspect of your participation in helping advance research, education and advocacy for the benefit of patients; I join Jim in encouraging you to consider the AST’s charitable options when you plan your year-end giving.

In parallel, it is also vitally important that the society hold value for you. I invite you to share with me your thoughts and suggestions on ways the AST can provide added value...

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