Another Great Year

It is hard to believe that the AST has been a self-managed organization for an entire year now. Prior to January 1, 2017, the Society was managed by an association management company called Association Headquarters. Association Headquarters did a great job handling many of the critical areas of the AST such as pay and employ staff, and provide office space and support services such as accounting and technical support.

As the Society continued to grow, we reached a point where it made more sense to pursue the self-management model.  This was a gratifying move in that we experienced an exciting and successful year. Thank you to everyone who helped make this transition possible.

We accomplished a lot in 2017 across several areas of the organization. Some of the highlights include:

Patient Engagement

In 2017, we took our first step towards increasing direct patient involvement in the Society. A major part of this was holding our first ever Transplant Patient Summit in Washington, DC. Concurrently, we launched our public-facing initiative, Power2Save.

The Transplant Patient Summit was a roaring success. As a Society, we absorbed a tremendous amount of invaluable information from this group.If you are unfamiliar with this event, I encourage you to read my Transplant Patient Summit blog post.

Communities of Practice (COPs)

The AST launched its 15th COP in 2017. The Organ and Tissue Preservation COP (OTP COP) was created for AST members interested in cutting-edge organ and tissue preservation research.

Our next COP, the Advanced Practice Providers (APP COP), was approved in 2017 and will launch later this year.  The growing number of AST COPs reflects the increasing professional diversity of our Society!

Education

The AST launched two brand new educational resources in 2017, so if you haven’t made a New Year’s resolution yet, challenge yourself to expand your transplant knowledge.

The Comprehensive Trainee Curriculum (CTC), spearheaded by Dr. Josh Levistsky, was launched after ATC 2017. This program is a fantastic way for transplant professionals to expand their knowledge beyond their own specialties. In today’s ever-changing world, it is becoming increasingly important to have a well-rounded understanding of the field – not just your own specialty.

The Transplant in 10 video series was also launched in 2017. This educational resource was designed for the on-the-go transplant professional eager to stay on top of news and key concepts. Best of all, this program is free. Dozens are videos, all ten minutes or less, at no cost to you.

We also offered dozens of Journal Clubs and webinars throughout the year. These are great ways to educate our members, using the expertise of our COP members.

CEoT 2017

We held another successful Cutting Edge of Transplantation (CEoT) meeting in 2017. The meeting, which was entitled “One Transplant for Life: Many Pathways to Success,” was held at the beautiful Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, AZ.

I look forward to seeing you again at CEoT 2018 on February 8-10, 2018

Fellows 2017

We had record attendance for the 2017 Fellows Symposium in Transplantation in Grapevine, TX. In 2017, the AST offered 150 travel grants and had a total attendance of 229.

We have long thought that the attendees of this meeting are the future of transplantation, and I firmly believe that this is one of the most important things we do as an organization.

To learn more about Fellows, check out our guest blog post, written by an attendee.

Advancing Transplantation

We awarded $460,000 in research grants in 2017. The AST also sponsored 11 pre-doctoral medical students for a research internship. 

Additionally, the AST sponsored 12 medical students and residents, not committed to a career in transplantation, to attend ATC through the AST Student/Resident Mentor Program.

Public Policy

The AST continued to serve as the go-to resource on Capitol Hill, shaping patient-focused legislation.

The Society also signed several coalition letters in 2017 including letters related to the Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act, cuts in NIH funding, and other health care related items.

The AST was awarded the highest rating from Charity Navigator, for the third year in a row. Charity Navigator is America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This 4-star rating demonstrates AST’s strong financial health and a commitment to transparency and accountability.

Once again, thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of AST’s first year of self-management. 

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