The American Society of Transplant Surgeons is pleased to announce several new initiatives introduced today as part of the White House Organ Summit. ASTS was represented by President Charlie Miller, MD, President-Elect Tim Pruett, MD, and Executive Director Kim Gifford, MBA, at the summit, which was timed to build on the excitement surrounding the American Transplant Congress in Boston and the World Transplant Games in Cleveland.
“My aspirational goal for my presidency of ASTS has been to make progress toward ensuring that everyone who needs a transplant can get one,” Dr. Miller said. “This summit is a critical step toward achieving that goal, and I’m happy to meet so many people both inside and outside the field of transplantation who are working toward it as well. I look forward to ASTS building on the connections made today and to the progress all these organizations will make in the coming years.”
The Obama Administration, as well as dozens of companies, foundations, universities, hospitals, and patient advocacy organizations, announced a new set of actions that will build on the Administration’s efforts to improve outcomes for individuals waiting for organ transplants and support for living donors. Some of the actions aim to increase the number of people who register to become organ donors, some aim to increase the number of transplants and improve outcomes for patients, and others are focused on changing what might be possible for future patients by facilitating breakthrough research and development. You can view the entire list of commitments online, and a summary of the event, including a recording, is available here.
ASTS has committed to the following projects:
- In collaboration with the American Society of Transplantation (AST), and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS), HRSA announces a coalition to support living donors. The coalition will include patient organizations and other stakeholders within the transplant community, and seeks to help address three key areas: providing education and resources for potential living donors to make an informed decision about donation; addressing financial and other barriers to donation; and ensuring that living donors have long-term medical follow-up and access to care.
- ASTS, AST, and the Laura and John Arnold Foundationwill partner to award research grants that will study transplant center performance metrics, beginning in July 2016. The initiative aims to increase the number of organ transplants by reducing undue risk aversion and incentivizing innovation in transplantation, while maintaining patient safety and care. The results of these studies will be featured in a consensus conference designed to draw key findings from each analysis into a formal proposal.
- ASTS and AST are announcing a partnership to create the Transplant Therapeutics Consortium to support a 3-5 year research effort to facilitate more effective innovation and therapies in solid organ transplantation. Through collaboration with the FDA, academia, and industry, the goal is to improve outcomes in transplant recipients, increase graft survival and reduce the need for retransplantation.
- ASTS, Baylor University Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, Fahrenheit 212, Mount Sinai Health System, ORGANIZE, and the University of Chicago are launching a collaborative to explore the design and development of an Anonymous, Non-designated Living Donor Database. While only one donor is required for any particular transplant patient, for many transplant recipients, multiple potential donors are identified; this project will help centers direct these additional willing donors fairly and ethically to other donation opportunities, including to start living donor chains.
The Administration is committing to providing an update in the next 180 days, which will outline common-sense steps to reduce the organ transplant waiting list and improve outcomes for patients and will report on continued progress on public and private actions like those announced today.