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President's Blog

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?

Political Sport Partisan Bickering Institutional Inactivity Re-Election Jitters

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 Burgess...

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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...

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July 09, 2012 Posted by rmannon

The AST Public Policy Committee, working in tandem with Bill Applegate and Chris Rorick of our government relations team at Bryan Cave, LLP, has been incredibly active on behalf of the Society. As a leading voice for transplantation, it is critical that we remain on top of the social conversations surrounding healthcare debates in Washington, DC.

As such, we’ve launched a public policy specific Twitter account – @ASTonCapHill. This account is separate from the AST Twitter account –...

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June 26, 2012 Posted by rmannon

As you’re probably aware, during the past year AST has been working tirelessly with our public policy team, other transplantation professionals and members of the Senate to introduce the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2011.

This important bipartisan and bicameral legislation will ensure kidney transplant recipients are able to...

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June 20, 2012 Posted by rmannon

As many of you know, I’ve just had the honor of being named President of AST. It’s an achievement I don’t take lightly, and I wanted this opportunity to introduce some of my plans for the Society here on the AST Desktop.

We’re currently celebrating the 30th anniversary of AST. As we reflect on the significant advancements that we’ve made as a Society, I can’t help but consider all of the possibilities for the next 30 years – and more immediately, this year. We’ve had significant accomplishments during Bob Gaston’s term as President (including this blog!) and I hope to leverage...

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June 13, 2012 Posted by rgaston

This year’s ATC in Boston was an overwhelming success in terms of attendance and quality of presentations, but even more for the positive “buzz” regarding the future of our field that seemed to permeate almost every session. I hope many of you were able to attend our 30th Anniversary Celebration, June 4th. If you were there, you would have heard how healthy our society is after 30 years, with over 3000 members, sound financial footing, and ready to address the new challenges ahead. You could have watched Roz Mannon effortlessly assume the gavel as our new President for 2012-13....

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May 11, 2012 Posted by rgaston

ATC is fast approaching, and with it the end of my term as your President. Our goals at this time last year were to improve our use of technology (witness…the blog, making AJT accessible from our website, electronic voting) and increase collaboration with other groups interested in transplantation (ASTS, ASN, ESOT, ISHLT, et al). Our presence in Washington continues to bear fruit and expand, and we are trying to deal strategically with each of our other targeted areas: organ donation, research, membership, and education. What suggestions do you have for AST leadership as we approach...

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April 30, 2012 Posted by rgaston

On Friday, April 27, I represented AST at a Northwestern/ASTS/AST sponsored consensus conference on donor-transmitted diseases, specifically HIV, HCV, and HBV. These are the infections addressed in the recent draft Public Health Service guidelines now undergoing comprehensive revision. The discussion was vibrant, and the topic important. However, between 2007-11, a five-year period during which organs from over 39,000 donors were utilized, there were 20 proven or probable transmissions from 9 deceased donors in the United States! Transmission from living donors is even rarer (a potential...

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April 18, 2012 Posted by rgaston

Almost everything we do in transplantation is more tightly regulated and monitored than a decade ago. It strikes me that some of this is warranted, some maybe not. Our field, evolving after implementation of the Medicare ESRD program and development of cyclosporine, has always been more closely scrutinized than other areas of medicine. The benefits? Standardization of clinical care has improved outcomes and the burden of regulation has favored larger programs better equipped to deal with it.. Our experience should also be informative to those likely to face new stresses in dealing with...

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April 09, 2012 Posted by rgaston

The latest iteration of an ongoing debate over the propriety of compensating live organ donors is now transpiring in the pages of the AJT (12:306-12, 2012 with letters to follow). Current law in the US, the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984, outlaws “valuable consideration” in organ donation. Some defend the present scheme by decrying the impurity of introducing financial considerations into the process and noting the abuses associated with unregulated systems elsewhere. Others note that financial considerations already exist with recipients and providers all profiting from donor...

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