The Donation Derby

The AST Communities of Practice (COPs) offer invaluable opportunities for those in the field of transplantation to connect with others in their specialties. There are big ideas among these groups, but limited funds often prevent these ideas from being executed.

Now through December 31, 2018, the AST will hold its second annual COP Donation Derby. The Donation Derby allows COP members to support the AST and their COP’s initiatives. Prizes of $1,000 are given to the COP who raises the most money, as well as the COP that has the highest member participation rate. As an added bonus, all COPs will receive 50% of the funds that they raised for their upcoming initiatives and programs. For high performing COPs, the fund allocation will be increased to 75%.

Our two winners from 2017 had a great time during the competition, and are now able to fund some of their initiatives. To expand on this contest, I have invited the Chairs of the winning COPs to write a guest blog post.

 To learn more about this contest, click here.

LICOP (Jennifer Lai – Past Chair now; Chair Last Year)

The money that the Liver and Intestinal Community of Practice (LICOP) received from our members during the AST Donation Derby 2017 has been integral to achieving two major goals in 2018.

First, with the support of the AST Board, we launched a new initiative for a program dedicated to providing personalized mentoring for eight trainees / junior faculty in LICOP.  Fostering the careers of trainees and junior faculty within liver transplantation has always been a priority for LICOP, and we were so grateful for the support from our membership to be able to dedicate resources to launching this program – which we intend to continue for years to come!

Second, recognizing the importance of face-to-face meetings among our members, the funds from the Donation Derby has supported several face-to-face networking opportunities at ATC and The Liver Meeting. Our members have told us that these meetings are instrumental in facilitating new and ongoing research collaborations, as well as fostering new friendships within the transplant community.

We are so grateful to our members for their active engagement within LICOP and AST and look forward to continued expansion of our abilities to promote the needs of our members of LICOP.



TxPharm COP (Angela Maldonado – Chair)

Participation by the Transplant Pharmacy Community of Practice (TxPharm COP) in the COP Contribution Contest 2017 Donation Derby left much to be desired. Although we were the third largest COP, we were dead last regarding percentage of members contributing, as well as total monetary contributions in 2016. 

When the 2017 Donation Derby was announced, and we saw the public nature of the Derby updates, we knew we had to step up our game.  The campaign was dubbed the "Worst to First" by Lisa Potter and, through individualized emails, personal appeals, video newsletters, and general begging and pleading, the Donation Derby became a success!

The TxPharm COP used the Donation Derby funds to add an additional ATC Travel Grant to increase the total to three travel grants per year.  Future plans include supplemental funding for a future AST Consensus Conference proposal and investment for infrastructure tools to support video newsletters and web-based conferencing tools to support online journal clubs, webinars, and meetings. 

An unexpected bonus from the Donation Derby was the networking that arose from good old-fashioned competition. I had the opportunity to develop a strong comradery with the Chair of the Liver and Intestinal Community of Practice (LICOP) as the Donation Derby came to a close, which was a new connection for our COP. We are proud to share first place with LICOP and look forward to beating them outright this year!



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