AST COVID-19 Update
We find ourselves in unprecedented times as we face the first pandemic in more than 100 years. COVID-19 is challenging us all both personally and professionally. We are all working many hours to care for our patients and address the needs of our families amidst the chaos that new challenges can bring.
COVID-19 Resources for Professionals and for the Transplant Community
The AST’s COVID-19 Task Force, including representation from the IDCOP, has been working tirelessly to develop and update resource documents for both transplant professionals and the transplant community. The Society was the first to put out these educational items to help support the transplant community. Other groups, including ASTS, AOPO, ISHLT, CST, TTS, and UNOS are now pooling resources with us to continue to build upon these educational items to fully support the donation and transplant communities with the most up-to-date information available, learning from other countries’ experiences and our own to better serve our patients. We anticipate co-hosting an informational session later this week to provide answers to the many questions that have come up. Please visit the AST website often to find updates to these resources.
Additionally, the Outstanding Questions in Transplantation Research Hub site is currently focused on discussions specific to COVID-19. This provides a dynamic opportunity to ask your questions and share experiences with other transplant colleagues in real-time. All AST members are automatically entered into this community and can adjust the frequency with which you receive these notifications. This hub site has not been used in several months. If you removed yourself at some point and wish to be added back in, please visit this link for instructions. If you need further assistance, please contact Anne Kreiss (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Olivia Snow (email@example.com).
Many of you are asking about this year’s ATC meeting. Safety is our first priority. With a meeting of this size, we are planning for business as usual while also exploring alternatives to continue to provide education to our members in an alternate format under these extraordinary circumstances.
We understand that many of our colleagues are currently under travel bans that would prevent travel to Philadelphia and we recognize the current CDC crowd limitations for the next 60 days. As COVID-19 continues to unfold, the ATC Planning Staff and Committee are in constant communication with AST and ASTS leadership to evaluate plans and potential next steps. Currently, refunds will be offered on registration up until May 18, 2020. We will continue to evaluate the situation and communicate with the Philadelphia authorities and update attendees and society members here. You will continue to receive frequent updates from ATC and AST as the situation evolves.
Meeting Your Needs
Across the country, all of us have had to alter daily activities and work to address questions that we may not be able to readily answer. The Society is working hard to provide resources for its members. We appreciate the efforts of those directly involved in these activities and the patience of those who are receiving them at this incredibly busy time. I’d especially like to thank the many hard-working members of the IDCOP who have devoted many hours outside of their already overwhelmed work hours to keep all of us updated and well-informed as well as Jamil Azzi and Geoffrey Camirand for their hard work starting the Outstanding Questions in Transplantation thread. The conversation has been very thought-provoking and clear evidence of the concern and engagement of our community in this public health crisis.
The AST staff is working from home to avoid unnecessary exposure and support public health requests for social distancing but will remain available for business as usual. We felt it was important to keep the staff safe and follow the local public health recommendations for social distancing. I thank them for managing to keep the AST running remotely at this time.
Take care and stay healthy.