2017 Strategic Priorities
It was an honor to be inducted as President of the American Society of Transplantation (AST). Being a member for more than 13 years, I am proud of the work the Society has done, and I am excited about its growth potential going forward. The AST is made up of members of diverse backgrounds and concentrations in transplantation, but our work has one final goal – to improve the lives of our patients.
To achieve our goal of better overall care for patients, the AST is advancing several initiatives that are aligned with our strategic priorities. Below are some highlights:
Funding transplant research remains a top focus for the AST. This year, the AST partnered with four organizations to provide nearly $500,000 in funding to researchers with innovative projects in transplantation. Since 1995, the AST has funded more than two hundred research projects with more than ten million dollars through its research grants program.
AST's Transplantation & Immunology Research Network (TIRN) program has also provided additional opportunities for partnerships. View a complete list of the 2017 AST Grant Recipients here.
Education is a crucial part of the AST and the overall field of transplantation. Continuous innovation and improvement at our meetings is a priority for the Society. Although the location of ATC this year was not ideal, the meeting offered tremendous content and networking opportunities. The organization’s winter meeting, Cutting Edge of Transplantation (CEoT), has also gained momentum in the last few years. CEoT 2018 will focus on regulation and will be entitled “Breaking Through Regulatory Barriers to Unleash Transplant Innovation.”
In addition to our meetings, the AST continues to offer new educational resources to its members including Journal Clubs and webinars. We also recently added Clinical Transplantation (CT) to our list of educational member benefits. AST members can now access this publication free of cost.
The AST will also offer another exciting benefit. This feature, the Comprehensive Trainee Curriculum (CTC), will include online classes in the major areas of transplantation. This program will expose trainees to various specialties and new educational curriculums.
Our advocacy efforts have continued on Capitol Hill to make sure that patients have access to essential medications, insurance coverage, and the best care possible. These efforts aim to provide protection to those impacted by transplantation.
One important advocacy initiative is the Transplant Therapeutics Consortium (TTC), a joint effort of the AST and ASTS. This collaboration with industry leaders, the societies, and regulatory agencies is a priority in removing barriers to drug development in transplantation.
Public Outreach and Patient Engagement
Power2Save has launched with a new website and plans for a fall campaign. The hope is that this initiative will raise greater awareness about the need for transplant research to improve long-term outcomes in transplantation.
In October, we will host our inaugural Transplant Patient Summit. The Summit will bring together recipients and donor families, transplant providers, policy makers and other major stakeholders for a two-day event in Washington DC.
The AST would not be able to advance these initiatives without strong leadership, and I would be remiss not to thank and acknowledge those who serve this society with selfless commitment. During the ATC, the Board leadership transitioned and we welcomed in three new board members: Deborah Adey, David Foley, and Marian Michaels, as well as new roles for Dianne McKay (President-Elect) and Rich Formica (Secretary). We also had to say goodbye to our outgoing board leadership of Jim Allan, Sharon Bartosh, and Josh Levitsky.
Our Communities of Practice make AST a truly special and interactive space for professionals in the field. Congratulations to our new leaders of these groups.
Congratulations to the newest members of our society who were inducted as Fellows of the American Society of Transplantation (FAST). It was an honor to recognize these outstanding members in our field.
Finally, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the new ASTS President, Jean C. Emond. The societies continue to have a productive relationship, as we work together to advance transplantation.
I look forward to serving as your president