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President's Blog

October 26, 2015 Posted by jallan
The AST launched the Transplantation and Immunology Research Network (TIRN) to expand the scope, reach, funding, and effectiveness of the AST’s research program. I’ve invited Dan Salomon and Anil Chandraker to introduce TIRN’s newest feature: the researcher registry. It is absolutely critical for all of us as AST members to embrace and populate this new registry with our own work and scientific perspectives. As we have seen many times in the past, the transplantation community is strongest when we work together.

Daniel...

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September 15, 2015 Posted by jallan

Winter in Boston was rough this year. By mid-February, the snow had drifted above my rooftop. When the last snow melted late in April, it was clear that I had some damage to my roof. I started to pull my ladder from the garage, but my wife stopped me, knowing that my sense of balance was not one of my stronger attributes. She insisted that I call a repairman, saying, “Let someone else go up there...you’ll kill yourself!” What she was really saying was that I should hire someone who either values his safety less or needs money more than I do. I acquiesced and found a roofer who did an...

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August 03, 2015 Posted by jallan

Living donation began in 1954 and has become more commonplace in recent years due to laparoscopic techniques that allow donors to recover quickly and spend fewer days in the hospital. Despite these advances, living donation remains a serious decision. To promote safe evaluation and care for living donors, federal regulations require transplant programs to appoint an independent living donor advocate (ILDA) to support these patients. However, many in the transplantation community have questions about what the ILDA role entails and how to operationalize it. To clear up the confusion, I have...

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July 14, 2015 Posted by jallan

Many in our community have dedicated significant time, research, and thought to the best way to allocate donor organs fairly to patients across the country. However, geographic factors often introduce undesirable anomalies into our organ allocation system. Considering that some regions are net organ exporters while others are net organ importers, it is understandable how contentious battles over a limited resource can arise.

Dr. David Foley and Dr. James Spivey recently represented the AST at an...

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June 23, 2015 Posted by jallan

The lack of donor organs remains the principal limitation to the field of transplantation. In 2014, wait-listed patients exceeded donors by almost tenfold. As the field of regenerative medicine advances, bioengineered tissues and organs could one day help close this gap. It’s a positive sign that the White House has expressed interest in supporting research in this area. I have invited my colleague, Jason Wertheim, to share details from a recent conference hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) addressing this subject.

The White House Addresses Organ... Read More...
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June 08, 2015 Posted by jallan

In keeping with our recent tradition of inviting guest bloggers to comment on current topics of interest, I have invited Dr. Emily Blumberg to educate us on the implementation of the Hope Act. A recent advocacy success of the AST and other organizations, the HOPE Act permits the use of HIV-positive donor organs in transplantation. Like most things, "the devil is in the details," and the implementation of this new policy will be no different.

Dr. Blumberg is a Professor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and a well-known expert in transplant infectious...

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May 11, 2015 Posted by jallan

In his first blog as president, Dr. James Allan thanks the outgoing AST leaders and welcomes the new leadership as he highlights AST initiatives for the year ahead. During his presidency, he will continue the tradition of both blogging actively and inviting expert guest contributors to address issues and topics of immediate relevance.

A New Year for the AST

James S. Allan, MD, MBA, FAST

It is truly a privilege to serve as president of the largest and most widely representative transplantation organization in...

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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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