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President's Blog

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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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