March 25, 2013 Posted by rmannon
In recent weeks, some of you have reached out to me with concerns that AST has not been sufficiently involved with how the Sequester is impacting the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding budget. We are a field that is highly dependent on biomedical research and let me assure you that our AST lobbyists, Bill Applegate and Chris Rorick of Bryan Cave, continue to have research advocacy as a top priority.
For over a decade, AST has worked closely with the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Appropriations – supporting biomedical research and connecting-the-dots... Read More...
March 17, 2013 Posted by rmannon
Education continues to be one of the most critical needs for transplant professionals and is the number one reason why people join AST. The American Transplant Congress and the American Journal of Transplantation are two significant offerings most often appreciated by members. But we don’t rest on our laurels — instead we strive to continue to find ways to update skills, highlight critical issues and, moving forward, serve as a resource for maintenance of certification.
Over the last year, we have moved entirely to a volunteer committee responsible for the oversight of all our... Read More...
February 18, 2013 Posted by rmannon
Last week was a big week for organ transplantation on Capitol Hill. On the heels of President Obama's State of the union address, leaders from both parties in the House and Senate introduced the:
HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act (S. 330 and H.R. 698) - Introduced by Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA) and Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Rand Paul (R-KY). The bill seeks to lift the current law ban and establish a research protocol to determine the effectiveness of HIV positive-to-positive transplants, and to ensure the safety of the... Read More...
January 23, 2013 Posted by rmannon
We begin each year with the best of intentions. We make resolutions. We vow change. We commit ourselves to improvement.
I’ve seen you.
You're in my gym each morning before dawn, taking the boot camp session with the trainer, sweating, scoping out the maniacal fitness freaks to learn their secret. Often we don't share our development goals publicly because part of us realizes that it’s going to be difficult to keep these promises. It’s that same part of us that sneaks cupcakes after dark. Sometimes, life gets in the way.
Me? These days, I've learned not to make... Read More...
January 02, 2013 Posted by rmannon
As we begin the New Year, it’s a fitting time to update the Society on our robust advocacy activities. Public policy remains a key priority and there have been significant advancements this past year, largely thanks to the energy and passion of our team. While we’re heartened by this positive momentum, many challenges remain.
I’ve made six trips to DC since June and can attest that during that time the normal process for advancing priorities in Congress was extremely challenging. In visiting lawmakers to discuss our many issues, the single topic that overshadowed all the others... Read More...
November 20, 2012 Posted by rmannon
Perhaps you read the recent New York Times article by Kevin Sack entitled, “Hospitals Ordered to Do More to Protect Kidney Donors”. Were you as outraged as I was (and still am)?
The article highlights the UNOS Board meeting of November 12, in which the Board accepted a series of recommendations by the Living Donor Committee to provide for mandated and timed follow up of all living kidney donors with required acceptable percentages for immediate implementation, as well as the need... Read More...
November 14, 2012 Posted by rmannon
After what feels like an eternity of partisan campaigning among elected officials at all levels, the 2012 election cycle has finally ended. President Obama has won a second term in office, Democrats and Republicans maintained their majority's in the Senate and House, respectively. And after weeks of policy paralysis leading up to the election, Congress returns to Capitol Hill this week for its “Lame Duck” session and must quickly act to avoid the fiscal cliff. In addition to our very important transplant legislative and regulatory agenda, AST has also independently and in coalition with... Read More...
October 10, 2012 Posted by rmannon
There is a common saying in Washington, DC that, “all politics is local” – meaning that most elected representatives are forced to address the concerns of their home state constituents before all else if they’re to remain in office. The past few elections have challenged this contention though, and many larger national issues like terrorism and the economy have taken over the public consciousness.
But let’s not forget – YOU elected your representative in government. Aren’t you curious about what they’ve been up to? After all, you don’t hire a home contractor and then go on... Read More...
September 12, 2012 Posted by rmannon
Would you like to know why the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act hasn’t passed through Congress yet?
Pick one. Pick all four.
Let’s review. This legislation, known as the Immuno Bill, was introduced at the beginning of this Congress by Senate Deputy Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ranking Senate Appropriations Committee Member Thad Cochran (R-MS), House Energy and Commerce Vice Chair of the Health Subcommittee Michael... Read More...
August 22, 2012 Posted by rmannon
In 2009, the Board voted to dissolve the Clinical Research Committee. To be truthful, despite the fact that I had served on this committee and was involved on a number of critical projects, I voted in the affirmative of this dissolution.
During my years on the Clinical Research Committee, I had the pleasure of interacting with a number of dynamic individuals with whom I have remained close professionally, including Flavio Vincenti and Bob Gaston, and I benefitted from working with leading industry, federal regulatory and funding agencies. But over time, the Committee floundered... Read More...