As I take the helm of the ASTS Foundation, I’m proud that I can do so as an inaugural member of the President’s Club. There are six of us at the moment and I’m looking forward to welcoming more soon.
As the Foundation approaches its goal of $20 million by 2020, it’s important to begin planning for what comes next. On September 9, the Foundation’s Board of Directors gathered in New York to begin a formal strategic planning process, and I look forward to sharing the results with you.
None of us can know what the future holds, but building out a strong framework will enable us to navigate it more successfully. We are mindful that the Foundation exists because of the generosity of its contributors, and we are determined to be good stewards of your investment in the Society’s future.
Giving to the Foundation is a personal choice, but it’s also something I feel is an obligation for the leadership of the Society. For all of us who have the best interests of the Society at heart, supporting the Foundation should be a natural choice. The ASTS Foundation funds mission-critical initiatives such as ASTS Research Grants and the Institute of Medicine donor intervention study. It also provides a financial underpinning for the Society’s programs independent of industry funding.
ASTS was there through the best and worst moments of my career, and it gives me great satisfaction to support it by donating my time, effort, and money. We all have our own stories about what we’ve gained from our experiences in the Society and our own reasons for the organizations we choose to support. My fellow President’s Club members will be telling their own stories in coming issues of the Chimera, and I hope to hear yours soon as well.
But what I want to leave you with is this: transplantation is a unique, challenging, and fulfilling field. We save and improve lives through our work, which completely depends on the altruism and sacrifice of people we may never meet. Every transplant surgery I perform is part of an act of amazing generosity. That’s the defining trait of our field, I think. Every organ I transplant is a gift, a precious piece of someone that goes into a new life and inspires gratitude and generosity in the recipient.
So, in honor of the generous heroes who make our work possible, I want to pay back. And my challenge to you is to do the same, and we are committed to making the ASTS Foundation the right choice for your generosity.