Another Year Under Our Belt
We began our second year as a self-managed organization in January. Before January 2017, the AST was managed by an association management company that handled our staffing, accounting, and technical support needs.
With only two years under our belt as a self-managed organization, we have accomplished so much within the various areas of the Society. The AST had a big year in 2017, but 2018 also came with a number of highlights.
Communities of Practice
In January, the AST introduced its 16th Community of Practice (COP), the Advanced Practice Providers COP. This COP now has over 100 members consisting of nurse practitioners and physician assistants who practice in the transplant community.
As the professional diversity in the Society increases, we continue to expand the number of COPs. A decade ago, we offered just three COPs, including Infectious Disease, Pediatric, and Women’s Health. The AST has launched at least one COP almost every year since the Infectious Disease COP (IDCOP) was launched in 2003.
In February 2018, the AST awarded its first-ever Innovation Award at the Cutting Edge in Transplantation meeting in Phoenix, AZ. The Innovation Award was presented to the University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto for their work in ex vivo organ perfusion.
The AST presented eleven awards at the American Transplant Congress (ATC) in Seattle, WA. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Robert Gaston, MD.
We held our second annual Transplant Community Summit at the Transplant Games of America in Salt Lake City, UT. The AST provided educational seminars including transplant research, advocacy, and healthy living. All talks from the Summit can be found on the Power2Save website.
The Live Donor Community of Practice launched the Live Donor Toolkit in March 2018. This toolkit has two versions – one for physicians and one for patients, and is also offered both in Spanish and English. Topics in the patient toolkit include financial considerations, pregnancy after donation, and kidney paired exchange.
We held another successful Cutting Edge in Transplantation meeting in February. This meeting focused on reducing regulatory barriers in transplantation. This meeting will be held again on February 21-23, 2019, in Phoenix, AZ. The 2019 meeting will attempt to uncover the potential of personalized transplantation.
Our joint meeting, the American Transplant Congress (ATC) was held in Seattle, WA this year. This meeting always provides an excellent opportunity for the transplant community to come together to learn and share information about the latest advancements in our field.
We welcomed over 150 fellows to the Fellows Symposium in Transplantation in September. We believe that this meeting truly cultivates and inspires future professionals of our field, ensuring its sustainability.
In October, AST leadership and members of the transplant patient community traveled to Washington, DC to meet with key legislators about the Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act and Living Donor Protection Act. Three kidney recipients and a kidney-pancreas candidate accompanied us to over a dozen Congressional offices, offering their critical personal perspectives to our legislators. Including patient representatives in these important discussions helps to inform our legislators.
The AST awarded $570,000 in research grants in 2018. Research continues to be a top priority for the AST. In 2018, our previous research network, Transplant Immunology Research Network (TIRN) was renamed the AST Research Network to be more inclusive to the entire transplant community.
Dedication to Transparency
We were pleased to receive the highest possible rating from the two leading charity evaluators, GuideStar and Charity Navigator, this year. Elevating our rating means that we have taken the important steps to provide transparency to potential and/or current supporters. The AST will remain dedicated to maintaining that transparency with our membership and public for many years to come.
We are looking forward to another great year in 2019.