Beginning the Conversation

As we move from one season to the next, the theme of change resonates within AST – positive change that will impact the entire organization. New mindsets, new legislation, new accomplishments.

For the youngsters among us, learning and communication occurs via very different, technologically advanced modalities. AST (including us older guys) now seeks ways to apply the latest technology to everything we do. Thus…a new blog!

The AST Desktop is going to be a place to learn, a place to interact, and, most importantly, a place for you to engage your president about the direction of your society.  As I understand it, for a blog to work, it has to be a two-way street.  Don’t hesitate to share your insights.

In July, the AST Board held a retreat in Sundance, Utah. During that time, we stopped to examine what makes AST a unique and valuable organization. How would you have addressed this question?

 What has the AST done well? What needs to be improved?

A member survey launched at ATC in early May concluded that you value AST for high quality education in transplantation and for the “networking” opportunities provided by the society.  One key character attribute of AST that kept coming up was diversity.

Should these be our goals moving forward?  What must the AST do to remain relevant to its members?

Fundraising continues to be essential if the AST is to accomplish its goals; great ideas without resources rarely succeed and old approaches are no longer applicable.

The Share the Beat event was successful in San Francisco and Boston and proceeds from the event went to support the endowment fund which was established to support core AST programs. The Board discussed several novel approaches to building the fund and raising awareness but we want to hear what you think. 

 Would you give annually to a fund that supports transplant research?
Would you give annually to a fund that supports the training of fellows?
Do you know about the AST endowment fund?

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts and beginning what I hope to be the first of many conversations on The AST Desktop. Please post your comments in the section below.  They will be read and recognized.   I’ll be back soon with more news, developments and progress.

Robert S. Gaston


Congratulation on launching the blog! AST has done a good job being inclusive of all disciplines, lobbying legislative issues and I really appreciate the education section the of the website. Key issues for gathering the donations is transparency in how the dollars are being used. I admit, I do not know much about the endowment fund. Margaret Ames, RN, MPA Transplant Administrator RWJUH, New Jersey

I think many members don't understand the endowment; not sure I did until very recently. It was established about a decade ago to ensure the continuance of the Fellows Symposium (training), consensus conferences and the research grant portfolio (research) in perpetuity. It has grown each year since inception, and is now large enough to apply some earnings toward the highly restricted purposes defined at its creation. Each year, the board has been able to transfer some money from operating budget to endowment, and donations from members continue to increase (though not as rapidly as we would like...). Thus, a donation to AST Endowment Fund is a donation to ensure the future of transplantation.

Excellent blog. Looking forward to more posts.

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