2019 Officer and Councilor Ballot

The ASTS Nominating Committee is pleased to put forward the following ballot for 2019 Officer and Councilor-at-Large positions. Below are the candidates, along with their personal photos, biographies, and summaries of their ASTS involvement.

Eligible voting members will be sent an email from Vote Now with a unique link to their ballot. If you believe you are eligible to vote and did not receive a ballot, please contact nominations@asts.org.

Voting closes April 1, 2019.

Candidates for President-Elect:
Marwan S. Abouljoud, MD, CPE, FACS
Elizabeth A. Pomfret, MD, PhD, FACS
Dorry L. Segev, MD, PhD
Candidates for Councilor-at-Large:
Kenneth A. Andreoni, MD
Matthew Cooper, MD
Devin E. Eckhoff, MD
Ryutaro Hirose, MD
Marc L. Melcher, MD, PhD
Kenneth Washburn, MD

President-Elect (Vote for 1)

PE_Photo_Abouljoud
Marwan S. Abouljoud, MD, CPE, FACS

Benson Ford Endowed Chair, Transplant & Hepatobiliary Surgery
Director, Henry Ford Transplant Institute
Clinical Professor, Wayne State University School of Medicine

  • Chair, Transplant Accreditation and Certification Council (2016-present)
  • American Board of Surgery Liaison (2016-present)
  • Chair, Wellness Task Force (2018 – present)
  • Member, Performance Metrics Task Force (2014)
  • Councilor-at-Large (2011 – 2014)
  • Member, Finance Committee (2012 – 2014)
  • Member, Nominating Committee (2012 – 2014)
  • Council Liaison, Business Practice Services Committee (2012 – 2014)
  • Council Liaison, Membership & Workforce Committee (2012 – 2014)
  • Member, Business Practice Services Committee (2009 – 2010)
  • Member, Reimbursement Committee (2007 – 2010)
  • Chair, Business Practice Services Committee (2008 – 2011)
  • Co-Chair, Fellowship Training Committee (2007 – 2008)
  • Member, Ad Hoc Business Practice Committee (2007 – 2008)
  • Member, Fellowship Training Committee (2006 – 2008)
  • Member, Education Committee (2005 – 2008)

Service, dedication, passion, meaning and purpose energize and guide my acceptance of the nomination for the role of ASTS President-Elect. 

I am privileged for the opportunity to be considered for president-elect and lead ASTS and our members at such an exciting time in our history. Transplantation is a special and inspiring discipline; always at the interface of life, hope and humanity. We all fulfill a noble purpose. I strongly believe in advancing our mission and in our shared values. I am indebted for what ASTS has provided me; I am ready to serve, and am grateful for being nominated.

My service:  Since 1995, Committed to ASTS and our community. My service includes: 

1) ASTS representative on American Board of Surgery
2) Councilor-at-Large
3) Transplant Accreditation and Certification Council: Inaugural Chair. Developed a functional
unit, took on accreditation and certification, and developed a physician certification pathway.
4) Burnout: I chair the ad hoc Committee on Wellness, shaping our future wellness strategies. Studied and published extensively transplant surgeon and coordinator experience in USA and Europe. Chaired an ASTS workshop.
5) Surgeon Compensation Survey: Developed first survey for ASTS members. .
6) Business Practice Committee: Inaugural Chair. Led Business Practice Workshops, started BPS Consulting
7) Fellowship Committee: early redesign and time management for fellows.
8) Leadership Development: Actively participated in LDP/ALDP programs with topics on Leadership, Contracting, Institutes, Mentoring and Resilience.
9) Advisor/mentor to ASTS members, assisting in career mentoring, compensation, institutional redesign and program startups.

My focus: While steering existing initiatives to completion, areas of added focus would include:

1)   Surgeon and Provider Wellbeing, critical to our specialty’s desirability and sustainability. I will drive this agenda, informed by research and current knowledge.
2)   Accreditation and certification processes: Our specialization as surgeons has sustained us for decades. Will formalize the process and achieve national/international recognition with thoughtful and pragmatic approach.
3)   Operational effectiveness and sustainability strategies: Begin a broad intersociety and interdisciplinary process to align goals and inform policy. Agility and fitness of the transplant surgery paradigm need a health check. 
4)   Broaden our constituency and partnerships for membership.

My practice: www.HenryFord.com/Abouljoud. Active in transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery for 25 years with the Henry Ford Medical Group. Led interdisciplinary teams with vision, perseverance and servant leadership to accomplish what few thought was possible. A fully integrated Transplant Institute with a fully comprehensive and innovative clinical portfolio. A robust surgery fellowship. A Transplant Research Collaborative with interdisciplinary teams. Served as a Trustee, Chair of Board of Governors, CMO. Started the Physician Leadership Institute, committee for Physician Wellness, Staff Quality Committee and Peer Support and Onboarding. Served with OPTN/UNOS as region 10 Councilor and MPSC member. 

My training: I obtained my MD from the American University of Beirut, residency at the University of Michigan and Henry Ford, with fellowships at the University of Alabama and Baylor University Dallas. I received a Master’s in Medical Management from Carnegie Mellon and Physician Executive Certification.

 
PE_photo_Pomfret Elizabeth A. Pomfret, MD, PhD, FACS
Igal Kam, MD Endowed Chair in Transplant Surgery
Chief of Transplant Surgery, University of Colorado
Executive Director of the Colorado Center for Transplantation Care, Research, and Education (CCTCARE)
Professor of Surgery, University of Colorado Hospital

  • Co-Chair, Ethics Committee (2017 – present)
  • Councilor-at-Large (2009 – 2012)
  • Member, Nominations Committee (2010 – 2012)
  • Member, Living Donation Committee (2009 – 2012)
  • Member, Ad Hoc Committee on Workforce (2002 – 2010)
  • Member, MOC Task Force (2009 – 2010)
  • Chair, Curriculum Committee (2007 – 2010)
  • Member, Ad Hoc Committee on Living Donation (2008 – 2009)
  • Member, Ad Hoc Membership Database Committee (2003 – 2006)
  • Chair, Vanguard Committee (2004 – 2007)
  • Member, Scientific Committee (2002 – 2004)

I would be honored to serve as the President Elect of the ASTS and I am asking for your support in this endeavor. I have been a member of the ASTS since 2002 and have served in various leadership positions within the committee structure and three years as an ASTS Councilor.  From these broad experiences, I am particularly proud of my contributions as the Vanguard Committee Chair (2004-2007) and as the inaugural Chair of the Curriculum Committee (2007-2009). During my time as Vanguard Committee Chair, the size and popularity of the Winter Symposium significantly increased with respect to abstracts and attendees.  In 2007, we were thrilled to report 135 abstracts and 307 attendees.  This year there were 277 abstracts and over 700 attendees which speaks to the continued importance of this meeting to our membership.  With the Curriculum Committee, I applied my interest in education and initiated a plan to create a standardized curriculum for transplant surgery fellows.  The National Transplant Surgery Fellowship Curriculum continues today as an online resource with over 125 learning modules for fellows and now encompasses MOC activities for all members.  In 2018, I had one of the greatest honors of my career in receiving the ASTS Francis Moore MD Excellence in Mentorship Award.
Beyond my ASTS service, I have served on the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors and on key committees including Liver and Intestine (Chair), Membership and Professional Standards, Policy Oversight (Vice Chair), and Corporate Advisory.  I was the President of the International Liver Transplant Society (2014-2015) and currently serve on the Transplant Advisory Council to the American Board of Surgery (2016-2022).

I am a clinically active transplant surgeon currently leading the University of Colorado Center for Transplantation Care, Research and Education. Our center performs about 450 abdominal and thoracic transplants a year. I have a track record of being the "go to" person who will get the job done. The positions of leadership that I have held and continue to hold, require the ability to direct large numbers of individuals, many of whom have strong and often disparate opinions, and guide them toward consensus regarding the issues under consideration. These are critical skills that I would bring to the role of President Elect, as our Society and the broader transplant community navigate the changes that the lie ahead. I understand that our membership has diverse views and consensus is often quite difficult.  Yet I am confident that we, by our very role as surgeons, possess the ability to cut through the surrounding static, prioritize goals, and solve the toughest of problems – together.  I believe that my commitment to excellence, personality, and experience qualify me to lead as the President Elect in an efficient, positive and ethical fashion that reflect the mission, vision, and values of our Society.  It would be my honor to serve the Society in this capacity.

 
PE_Segev_Picture

Dorry L. Segev, MD, PhD
Marjory K. and Thomas Pozefsky Professor of Surgery and Epidemiology
Associate Vice Chair, Department of Surgery
Director, Epidemiology Research Group in Organ Transplantation
Johns Hopkins University

  • Councilor-at-Large (2015 – 2018)
  • Chair, Pipeline Task Force (2018 – present)
  • Chair, PROACTOR Task Force (2015 - 2017)
  • Chair, ATC Executive Planning Committee (2013 – 2015)
  • Member, Grants Review Committee (2013 – 2015)   
  • Co-Chair, ATC Executive Planning Committee (2012 – 2013) Chair, Vanguard Committee (2010 – 2013)
  • Work Group Leader, KPD Joint Consensus Conference (March 2012)
  • Work Group Leader, Increased Risk Donor Joint Consensus Conference (April 2012)
  • Co-Chair Elect, ATC Executive Planning Committee (2011 – 2012)
  • Co-Chair, Testing of Live Donors to Prevent Transmission of Infectious Diseases Joint Consensus Conference (July 2011)
  • Member, ATC Planning Committee (2012 -2015)
  • Co-Chair, Vanguard Committee (2009 – 2010)
  • Member, Program Specific Reports Task Force (2009 – 2010)
  • Member, Vanguard Committee (2008 – 2009)
  • Member, Kidney Allocation Task Force (2008 – 2009)
  • Recipient, ASTS Pfizer Mid-Level Faculty Grant (2012 - 2014)
  • Recipient, ASTS Vanguard Prize (2006)
  • Recipient, ASTS Novartis Fellowship in Transplantation Award (2004 – 2006) 

I am delighted to be nominated for President-Elect of our Society. I have contributed extensively and consistently to ASTS leadership, including chairing two committees, chairing two task forces, spearheading two congressional bills, and serving as Councilor. I have attended every council/chair meeting for the past decade, and this recent experience is critical for the accelerated 1-year track to President. Additionally, I bring to ASTS considerable leadership and mentorship experience, including building and leading a 100-person research enterprise.

In every role I have served for ASTS, an overarching theme has been attracting young people to transplantation while fostering the success of those already committed to the field. As Vanguard Chair, we identified funding and publication challenges for junior transplant surgeons, leading to expanded ASTS-funded research awards and academic opportunities for junior faculty. As ATC Chair, I created the standing-room-only trainee afternoon, which I still lead, to teach young people about the science and allure of our field. As Councilor, I developed the Pipeline Task Force, and as founding Pipieline Chair, we have already created several initiatives to engage trainees with our field, including: a collaboration with Behind the Knife, a study of resident experiences in transplant surgery, and a new Pipeline Award. I will continue this structural work to keep our field and our society rich and vibrant.

Another theme has been increasing organ availability and utilization; I was the founding Chair of the PROACTOR Task Force with this mission. My research has also focused on expanding transplantation, including developing the Live Donor Champion program, developing clinical decision-making tools to help weigh the risks/benefits of organ acceptance, and advancing incompatible kidney transplantation. I was substantially involved in two major Congressional legislative successes, initiating, writing, and linking ASTS to advocacy groups to move both the Norwood Act (legalizing kidney exchange) and the HOPE Act (legalizing HIV-to-HIV transplants) past the finish line and into clinical practice. I will continue advocating for legislation that will serves our patients and expands our opportunities to save lives.

My background in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Music from Rice University, MHS/Biostatistics, MD/PhD from Hopkins gives me a unique perspective on our field. I have published >450 research articles, many of which have led to changes in practice or policy. I am strongly committed to mentorship, with >250 publications involving a mentee as first and/or last author. Many of my mentees are from other institutions, collaborations that were fostered through ASTS. I will continue bringing this spirit of discovery and mentorship to ASTS.

If given the opportunity to lead the ASTS, my priorities would include increasing deceased donor organ availability through optimizing OPO performance and center utilization; increasing living donation through public education, protection from adverse sequelae, and financial neutrality; and improving longevity of transplants through ASTS organizational support of collaborative research. I would work to remove duplicative regulations that stifle innovation in the use of non-ideal donors. Finally, I would continue improving the transplant trainee experience and engaging with medical student and general surgery societies, continuing my efforts to expand the pipeline for new talent into our fascinating field.

I am tremendously committed to this society, and would be honored to have your vote for President-Elect.

Councilors-at-Large  (Vote for 3)

Andreoni
Kenneth A. Andreoni, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery
Division Chief, Abdominal Transplant Program
Surgical Director, Adult and Pediatric Kidney / Pancreas Transplant Program
The University of Florida College of Medicine

  • Chair, Business Practice Services Committee (2015 – present)
  • Chair, Leadership Development Program Planning Committee (2015 – present)
  • Chair, Advanced Leadership Development Program Planning Committee (2017)
  • Member, MACRA Task Force (2015 – present)
  • Member, Performance Metric Task Force (2014 – present)
  • Co-Chair, Business Practice Services Committee (2014 – 2015)
  • ASTS Academic Universe online curriculum author

I am truly honored to be nominated as a candidate for Councilor-at-Large in the American Society of Transplant Surgeons. Like most of you, I see the ASTS as the beacon in our field of solid organ transplantation. I first joined the ASTS as a fellow in 1996 and became a full member in 1998.

I have dedicated my career to transplantation across many areas: clinical, policy, and administrative. I currently lead a multi-organ center at the University of Florida, and actively perform kidney, pancreas, liver, and donor procurement surgeries. I have been at five different transplant programs and their affiliated OPOs from my residency to my current position. Working at these various centers and being very involved with each OPO gives me important insight into how every transplant program and OPO are unique while sharing many common practices and concerns.

I was fortunate to gain an inside view of how hard the ASTS works for its members early in my training career as my mentors, Drs. Williams, Burdick, and Ferguson, were very active in both our organization and in OPTN/UNOS. Much of my initial service to our transplant community has been through the OPTN/UNOS structure. During fourteen consecutive years of service, I advanced from regional kidney committee representative to kidney committee chair, MPSC chair, board president, and then board advisor. During my time at UNOS, I started the ship turning to improve the collegiality between UNOS and all transplant organizations. Our ASTS relationship with the UNOS staff improved for several years around this time. The ASTS is now my organizational passion, as I believe we must stay firmly united with all other transplant patient and professional organizations to advance our field. The ASTS founded this revolutionary medical and scientific miracle of organ transplantation, and should continue to be its best spokesperson.

Serving as past chair of the Business Practice Services Committee has intensified my passion for building a future in which we can continue to supply our life saving services to our patients. We must be leaders in the development and implementation of both reasonable regulatory quality oversight expectations, and financial reimbursement models that include access for all our patients and members. I want the ASTS to continue to serve its members with new offerings such as the Kidney Transplant Financial Boot Camp, which I helped implement in 2018. I look forward to more solid organ boot camp courses in the near future, as well as other business education opportunities to fill our community’s needs.

The ASTS alone can unite our transplant surgical community and address the diverse needs of transplant professionals. I believe my experiences with policy development and government regulation, combined with my leadership in transplant business initiatives will allow me to best serve the interests of the entirety of the ASTS membership and our patients. Please support me in representing you as Councilor-at-Large in the ASTS.


Dr. Matthew Cooper

Matthew Cooper, MD
Director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation
Medstar Georgetown Transplant Institute
Professor of Surgery
Georgetown University School of Medicine

Medical Director, Quality and Safety
Medstar Georgetown University Hospital

  • Member, Transplant Accreditation and Certification Council [TACC] (2018 – present)
  • Co-Chair, ATC Planning Committee (2016-2017);
  • Member, ATC Planning Committee (2012 – 2016)
  • Member, Curriculum Committee (2008 – 2011)
  • Member, Scientific Studies Committee (2006 – 2009)

I am grateful for the nomination as candidate for Councilor-at-Large. I currently serve as the Director of a large volume Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program in Washington, DC. My primary research interest is in the field of ischemia/reperfusion in kidney transplantation and interventions for DGF and my passion is reducing organ discards by removing disincentives and promoting innovation and policy changes to encourage utilization.

I have been actively involved in the ASTS since joining in 2000. I served on the Scientific Studies Committee from 2006-2009 and then as an inaugural member of the Curriculum Committee from 2008-2011 which spearheaded the development and implementation of the Academic Universe. In this capacity, I oversaw all initial kidney and pancreas modules. Beginning in 2012, I served on the ATC planning committee and had the privilege of serving as the ASTS Chair for ATC 2018 in Seattle. I invited collaboration with transplant surgical colleagues of all levels and patterned my leadership style towards a goal of engagement and inclusiveness including increasing podium opportunities for our valued ATP colleagues and the meeting’s first Transplant Nursing Symposium. I currently am honored to serve on the Transplant Accreditation and Certification Council (TACC) which oversees critical functions of training program accreditation and fellow certification. Beyond ASTS, I currently serve as UNOS Region 2 Councilor and a member of its BOD as well as current leadership positions with IPITA, NKF, NKR, DLA and the AFDT, sponsor of the annual Hume lecture at the ASTS Winter Symposium.

More recently I chaired a successful Consensus Conference to Decrease Organ Discards which included a diverse ASTS presence as well as representation from HRSA, UNOS, CMS, NIH, payers, and patients. Its success has followed with several ongoing initiatives including projects with the ASTS Standards Committee evaluating the role of kidney allograft biopsies and a blinded clinical trial to assess their value, a UNOS Task Force to facilitate allocation for high risk for discard organs, and substantive in-person dialogue with CMS to promote innovation and reduce risk aversion. I currently serve as co-chair for a UNOS Systems Performance Improvement Workgroup, a national representative group of surgeons, physicians, OPOs, and community thought leaders to identify and implement interventions to improve donation and transplant delivery systems to increase organs transplanted, eliminate punitive metrics, and decrease disparities and discards.

In the Fall of 2018 I was awarded the Excellence in Physician Leadership Award by the NKR and will receive the inaugural NKF’s Excellence in Kidney Transplantation Award at its Spring Meeting in May.

I have valued almost 2 decades of experience in service to the ASTS. I would like to introduce the diverse initiatives of our Society including education, training, and advocacy to even a broader audience. I truly believe I am well positioned to address the needs of the Society, its membership and to be its voice when called upon. I will not take my responsibility or this position for granted. As such, I would be honored if your confidence allows you to vote for me as an ASTS Councilor-at-Large.


Dr. Devin Eckhoff
Devin E. Eckhoff, MD

Arnold G. Diethelm Endowed Chair in Transplant Surgery
Director, Division of Transplantation
Medical Director Legacy of Hope
Professor of Surgery
The  University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • Chair, ATC Planning Committee (2018 – present)
  • Co-Chair, ATC Planning Committee (2017 – 2018)
  • Co-Chair Elect, ATC Planning Committee (2016 – 2017)
  • Member, ATC Planning Committee (2014 – 2017)
  • Member, Critical Care Task Force (2009 – 2012)
  • Member, Ethics Committee (2007 –2010)
  • Member, Program, Publications & Postgraduate Course Committee (2003 – 2006)
  • Member, Scientific Studies Committee (1997 – 2000)

Currently I serve as the Division Director of Transplantation at the University of Alabama-Birmingham and have been a proud member of ASTS for 25 years. I have been engaged in the ASTS for over two decades serving on various committees including the Scientific Studies Committee, Critical Care Task Force, Programs and Publications Committee and for the last five years, I have been one of the ASTS representatives on the ATC Planning Committee.   Last year, I was Co-Chair and I am currently Chair of the ATC Planning Committee. I have been involved in UNOS on the National level serving as Associate and Councilor for Region Three. 

I completed my medical degree at the University of Minnesota and there I was exposed to dynamic leaders in transplantation, Drs. Najarian and Asher. I found transplantation to be technically challenging, lifesaving, and the boundaries of research limitless. I was fortunate to have been able to complete my surgical residency and fellowship training under the leadership of Drs. Folkert O. Belzer and Hans Sollinger, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During my fellowship, I was honored to be the recipient of the ASTS Sandoz award for research  I started my career at UAB in 1994 under the direction of Dr. Gil Deithelm and have been mentored by some the best.  

I have dedicated a majority of my practice to adult and pediatric liver and kidney transplantation and have enjoyed a very busy clinical practice. As Director of Transplantation of a large program, it has been important to continuously grow and develop new programs while offering the best training to future transplant surgeons and ultimately, quality care with good outcomes.  With funds I received from an Industry grant, with UAB matching, we have developed a Xenotransplant Center at UAB and recruited nationally recognized researchers.    In an effort to deliver more efficient patient care, I conceived and developed the Comprehensive Transplant Institute at UAB.  In addition, I initiated and created one of the first transplant hospital-based Organ Recovery Centers. These vehicles coupled with my role as Medical Director of the Alabama Organ Center have allowed us to grow our thoracic organ procurement and transplant program significantly.  Under my tenure, UAB has become a prominent transplant program with over 400 solid organ transplants/year.

I believe the ASTS has three critical roles which include: 1) training of surgical fellows with high quality transplant surgery fellowship programs with a comprehensive curriculum, 2) ensuring opportunities for continued professional development by supporting the ASTS Winter Meeting and maintaining the ATC Annual Meeting as the preeminent scientific Transplant Meeting, and 3) the ASTS should be setting the standards for optimizing patient care and ensuring patient safety. 

My service history demonstrates that I am committed to ASTS and I will continue to prove my dedication to the discipline. I would be honored to serve as a Counselor at Large to represent your interest in furthering the ASTS goals and mission, of education, research, training and legislation.  

 The ASTS is where it is at!  #GetInvolved.


C_photo_Hirose
Ryutaro Hirose, MD

Professor, Surgery
University of California, San Francisco

  • Chair, Fellowship Training Committee (2016 - present)
  • TACC Council Member (2016 – present)
  • Chair, TransQIP Task Force (2014 – present)
  • Co-Chair, Fellowship Training Committee (2013 – 2016)
  • Chair, Standards and Quality Committee (2012 – 2015)
  • Member, Fellowship Training Committee (2011 – 2014)
  • Co-Chair, Standards on Organ Transplantation Committee (2009 – 2012)
  • Member, Fellowship Training Committee (2006 – 2009)
  • Member, Ad Hoc Membership Database Committee (2003 – 2006)
  • Member, Informatics and Data Management (2001 – 2004)

I consider it a true honor to be nominated as one of the candidates for Councilor at large for the ASTS. After receiving my undergraduate degree in Mathematics as well as my MD degree at Columbia University, I moved across the country to San Francisco to UCSF, where I completed a general surgery residency, a fellowship in Molecular Medicine and fellowship in Transplant Surgery. I then joined the faculty at UCSF in 1999 and have been a clinically active liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation. 

I feel that the ASTS is the most important, relevant and influential professional society for transplant surgeons and for the field of transplantation. My participation in the society started 15 years ago, and has focused primarily in two areas that represent my passions, education and quality. Locally, I have served as the Associate Program Director for the UCSF general surgery residency for over a decade. My interest in surgical education continues and I have had the opportunity to serve several terms on the ASTS fellowship committee; as a member for a few terms, and then as co-chair and currently Chair.  I am also one of the initial members of the recently formed Transplant Accreditation and Certification Council, and look forward to continuing to be involved in shaping the educational environment for the future of transplant surgery. As a member of the TACC, we have outlined a new process for certification of individual transplant surgeons.  As the Chair of the UCSF Transplant QI Committee, as well as the UCSF Department of Surgery QI Committee, and the UCSF Clinical Performance Improvement Committee, I have been able to influence and oversee activities related to Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. This local experience helped me to spearhead a collaborative project between the American College of Surgeons and the ASTS, to form a national transplant quality improvement program (TransQIP). As Chair of the TransQIP task force, with the help of many members, we have been able to successfully progress from idea and concept to two successful pilot phases in this quality improvement project. I have contributed in other ways to the society, other than my formal roles on ASTS committees in establishing relationships with industry, reviewing abstracts as an engaged member.

I have also played several roles in the OPTN/UNOS as a member of the COIIN project advisory board, member of several subgroups e.g. System optimization, expedited placement, liver kidney allocation and others. My main contribution to UNOS has been as Regional representative, At-Large representative, Vice Chair and Chair of the Liver Intestinal committee, helping to shape change in organ allocation and distribution policy. 
If I am elected as Councilor-At-Large, I intend to continue to my service to the society and dedicate my time and effort to help shape the future of our society and of the field of transplantation. I wholeheartedly believe in the mission of the ASTS, and would be extremely honored to be elected to serve in this important leadership position.


C_photo_Melcher

Marc L. Melcher, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Surgery
Stanford University

  • Chair, Curriculum Committee (2016 – present)
  • Project Liaison, Scientific Studies Committee (2018 – present)
  • Member, TACC Knowledge Assessment Committee (2018 – 2020)
  • Member, Exam Development Group (2014 – 2018)
  • Co-Chair, Curriculum Committee (2014 – 2016)
  • Member, Curriculum Committee (2012 – 2014)
  • Member, Winter Symposium Planning Committee (2010 – 2013)
  • Member, Vanguard Committee (2009 – 2012)

I am honored to be nominated as a candidate for a Councilor-at-Large for the ASTS, and I ask for your vote.  Currently, I am on faculty at Stanford University where I perform liver and kidney transplants. In addition to being the Program Director of our general surgery residency, I am the Associate Program Director of our abdominal transplant fellowship. 

My most fulfilling activities have been bringing people together to work on common goals. For example, pair-kidney exchange has promoted cooperation between programs all over the country leading to 1000’s of transplants. I helped organize the ASTS supported, Paired Exchange Consensus Conference in 2012.  I am proud of the work done by the group to produce a consensus document eventually published in AJT that acknowledged the challenges and provided a pathway forward.
In 2009 I jumped at the opportunity to be on the Vanguard Committee for three years helping plan the Winter Symposiums.  Subsequently, I joined the Curriculum Committee in 2012 to help curate the body of knowledge that is organ transplantation and is produced and owned by the society and its membership. I became co-chair in 2014 and chair in 2016. 

Thus, I have been actively involved in the ASTS since initially becoming a candidate member as a transplant fellow at UCSF almost 15 years ago, and I have taken advantage of much of what the ASTS has to offer.  I have gone to a large proportion of ASTS meetings always learning new things, networking with colleagues, and developing friendships.  Early in my career, my institution supported my participation in the ASTS Leadership Development Program at the Kellogg School of Management.
I see the ASTS as a remarkable society that is relevant to transplant surgeons at all levels of our careers. As a Councilor-at-Large, I would work collaboratively to promote the mission of the ASTS to advance “the art and science of transplant surgery through patient care, research, education, and advocacy.”  This mission and the very nature of our trade is collaborative.  Not only do we work closely with other physicians, advanced practitioners, pharmacists, nurses, families, and patients to make the most of the incredibly precious gift of an organ, we also collaborate beyond our individual institutions as we exchange kidneys, procure organs for each other, and pool data together for research. The scarcity of organs mandates that we work together more so than most medical professions.  I think the ASTS should actively look for even more opportunities to bring our community together to find common ground on challenging topics through transparent discussions and sharing of knowledge.

I am passionate about what we as transplant surgeons can provide patients with life-threatening conditions and look forward to opportunities working within the ASTS to empower its membership to treat patients with organ failure and advance our field through science and policy development. 
The strength of the other candidates on the ballot is a tribute to how invested we all are in the Society and its mission.


C_photo_Washburn

Kenneth Washburn, MD
Executive Director, Comprehensive Transplant Center
Chief, Division of Transplant Surgery, Department of Surgery
Professor of Surgery
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

  • Member, ATC Planning Committee (2018 –present)
  • Member, ASTS Finance Committee (2016 – present)
  • Chair, Curriculum Committee (2013 – 2016)
  • Co-Chair, Curriculum Committee (2010 – 2012)
  • Member, Curriculum Committee (2009 – 2011)
  • Member, ATC Planning Committee (2008 – 2010)
  • Member, Ethics Committee (2005 – 2008)
  • Member, Standards Committee (2004 – 2007)

I have been an ASTS member since 1995 and have enjoyed the benefits of this membership ever since.  I have had the good fortune of serving the ASTS continuously since 2004 in a number of different capacities.  It has become abundantly clear to me over this time that we must be a strong voice and promoter for the causes of our patients, our trainees and ourselves.  There is no greater avenue for this advocacy than through our own society, the ASTS.  A continued strong voice is necessary in these days of competing interests to keep our issues front and center to those that can help us move our agenda forward.  Surgeons have been and need to continue to be the strong leaders in our field.  

My prior experience as the director of a liver transplant program serving a large geographic and ethnically diverse population in San Antonio has been formative in my development.  Likewise, serving as the medical director for that OPO provide me great insight to other aspect of transplantation.  I now serve as the Executive Director of a large abdominal and thoracic transplant program.  This experience continues to broaden my exposure and knowledge of transplantation across the clinical, regulatory, educational, academic and financial aspects of our field. 

I have served the ASTS continuously since 2004 in multiple capacities including the standards, ethics, ATC planning, curriculum and currently finance committees.  Outside of ASTS I have been actively involved with UNOS since 2003.  I have served in many capacities including chair of the Liver and Intestine Committee, MPSC, Policy Oversight, Regional Councilor, Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Corporate Advisory Committee.  These experiences have been extraordinary in how they have shaped my understanding of transplantation.  I feel honored to have had the opportunity to have served in these many capacities.

The breadth and depth of my experiences in multiple areas of transplantation have and will continue to serve me and the constituents I support well.  I believe I am well positioned to be a strong advocate for the ASTS and its members and would be honored to serve as one of its councilors.