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President's Blog

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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October 20, 2014 Posted by knewell

Living kidney transplantation is an important therapeutic option for many patients with ESRD. Recent blogs have focused on incentives/removal of financial disincentives to living donation and best practices in living kidney donation. In this blog I have asked Peter Reese and John Gill to focus on the important topic of our evolving understanding of the potential risks of living kidney donation.

 

Potential Risks of Living Kidney Donation

John Gill, M.D., M.S., St. Paul's Hospital Peter Reese, M.D., M.S.C.E., University of Pennsylvania

Recent studies from the U.S....

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October 06, 2014 Posted by knewell

There is little disagreement that transplantation is the preferable treatment option for most individuals with advanced renal insufficiency or renal failure, and that living donor kidney transplantation offers significant benefits compared to deceased donor kidney transplantation. Why is it, then, that the number of living donor kidney transplants performed in the United States has remained stagnant over the past decade?

An important approach to extending the option of living donor renal transplantation to more patients would be to identify both the barriers to living kidney...

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September 05, 2014 Posted by knewell

Those who know me recognize that I am not an expert on all things (or some might say, on anything). Given this reality, and in an effort to keep the president’s blog fresh, I have decided to identify topics that I believe are important and of interest to the members of the AST, and then ask experts to comment and provide their insight.

For the first blog, I invited Bob Gaston, MD, a former AST President and someone with a long-standing interest in disincentives to organ donation, to comment on recent initiatives aimed at removing disincentives to living kidney donation.

The... Read More...
July 27, 2014 Posted by dsalomon

As my term as AST president comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on the end of this “season,” and on what the next “season” will bring. That kind of thinking always makes me remember Pete Seeger’s song covered so famously by The Byrds in 1965, so please listen to it in the background as you read my last post.

I have learned much in the past year, and have relished the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of fellow volunteers on the board of directors. I’ve also gained great insight into what my colleagues are doing, saying, and thinking by interacting with AST’s...

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November 22, 2013 Posted by dsalomon

The current dysfunction in Washington is deplorable and has diminished the lives and business of all Americans. It has impacted transplantation at many levels from the uncertainty created by the partisan fighting over health care reform, arbitrary spending cuts by Sequestration, delay in advancing the Immuno Bill and the self-destructive failure to fund the NIH adequately. But today I can report a bit of hope, literally, that Washington can still accomplish some good things. I witnessed a clear example of the power that working with government, special interest advocacy groups and...

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November 05, 2013 Posted by dsalomon

I’ve just returned home from Madison, Wisconsin and the first event of the new AST Power2Save Initiative – an amazing night of rocking country music to raise money and awareness for the AST’s goals of advancing organ donation, public advocacy and research.

In a terrific venue near the University of Wisconsin campus and Health Center, The Band Perry, Joel Crouse and Scott MacIntyre gave their professional best to over 2,200 people. This concert event was over two years in the making and represents a remarkable...

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August 06, 2013 Posted by dsalomon

Part Three of a Three-Part Series

The shortage of organs for donation has been a long standing issue facing transplantation for years. As a resource for transplantation and patient advocacy, the AST must work to contribute to finding a solution. And after some thoughtful consideration, I believe there are two clear paths that AST can and should explore again in discrete and constructive steps.

The first path is toward increasing deceased donor donation. There can never be enough community education and engagement to explain the "miracle of transplantation" to the public. The...

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