A Year in Review: Reflecting on My Term as AST President
With mixed emotions, I write my final blog post as the President of the AST. It has been an incredible journey filled with unforgettable experiences. As I reflect on the past year, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to serve in this role and for the unwavering support of our dedicated members.
Looking back, it's remarkable how quickly time flies. It feels like just yesterday when I assumed the presidency, and now I am preparing to transition to the role of Past President and to welcome Dr. Josh Levitsky as the new AST President. I want to take a moment to celebrate some of the highlights that defined this year.
Over the past year, we transitioned back to in-person events, holding our first in-person ATC, Fellows, and CEoT meetings post-COVID. We also held the second annual Future of Transplantation meeting, designed to foster industry investment in transplantation. Going forward, we plan to strengthen our relationships with international transplant societies via the new Global Educational Exchange program.
In 2022, we actively participated in the Transplant Games of America in San Diego, which allowed us to engage with thousands of community members and hold patient-focused workshops.
Over several months, the AST Board of Directors worked diligently to develop a comprehensive multi-year strategic plan for the Society. This roadmap will guide us as we continue to advance the field of transplantation, enhance patient care, and support our members in their professional growth.
This year we issued key position statements on many public policy items that affect our patients including: the use of Normothermic Regional Perfusion in organ recovery, the need to eliminate Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism, and issued a Statement of Policy Principles and Solutions for Living Organ Donation. We also issued statements on the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe vs. Wade and HRSAs OPTN Modernization Initiative.
Recognizing the importance of patient perspectives, the AST took a proactive step by developing a comprehensive patient survey. This survey, set to be launched in June 2023, aims to identify unmet needs in immunosuppressant therapies. More information about this survey will be available soon.
Since ATC 2022, the AST has awarded $1,075,000 in research grants, with $587,500 funded directly by the Society. Going forward, we plan to further strengthen our grants offerings through the Partners in Innovation program.
The Society now has over 4,300 members, and I am thankful to each of you for your contributions to our field and involvement with the AST.
It has been an honor and privilege to serve as your President, and I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished together.
While this may be my final blog post as AST President, my journey within transplantation is far from over. I will continue to be an active member of this extraordinary community and look forward to future collaborations.