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OPTN/UNOS leadership briefs Congressional staff members on key policy issues

On May 21, UNOS Chief Executive Officer Brian Shepard and chairs of three OPTN/UNOS committees briefed staff members of the Congress of the United States on policy issues under discussion or implementation. The briefing was hosted by Congressman Jim Costa, co-chair of the Congressional Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Awareness Caucus. Approximately 75 people attended the event.

Dr. Sue McDiarmid, chair of the OPTN/UNOS Vascularized Composite Allograft (VCA) Transplantation Committee, addressed the development of an initial set of OPTN standards and policies for VCA transplantation. The OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors is scheduled to consider the committee’s proposals at its June meeting.

Dr. David Mulligan, chair of the OPTN/UNOS Liver and Intestinal Organ Transplantation Committee, discussed consideration of concepts to increase equity in access to liver transplantation. The committee will be issuing a concept paper in June, along with a questionnaire to identify issues for additional discussion at a public forum in September.

Dr. Richard Formica, chair of the OPTN/UNOS Kidney Transplantation Committee, outlined key features and anticipated benefits to recipients of the new kidney allocation system to be implemented in late 2014.

The speakers responded to a number of questions from attendees regarding opportunities for public input into OPTN policy development and resources available to help the public understand current issues affecting the field of donation and transplantation.

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