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AST Leaders Fly to Capitol Hill to Garner and Secure Support for Transplantation Initiatives

WASHINGTON, April 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On April 15, 2009, ten members of the American Society of Transplantation's (AST) Public Policy Committee gathered in Washington, D.C. and attended more than a dozen meetings scheduled with key Congressional offices. The purpose of the visit was to raise awareness of transplant related issues on Capitol Hill.

The Fly In focused on several important activities:

  • AST discussed healthcare reform initiatives with the House Ways and Means Committee, House Energy and Commerce Committee, Senate Finance Committee as well as the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Appropriations Committees.

  • The Society delivered letters of support to Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA) endorsing legislation to coordinate diabetes initiatives across federal agencies.

  • AST also delivered endorsement letters and expressed the Society's gratitude to Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) for recently adding a $10 million increase in the Budget Resolution for organ donation activities within HHS-HRSA Division of Transplantation.

  • AST leaders met with the office of Congressman Diana DeGette (D-CO) and the Congressional Diabetes Caucus.

  • AST Public Policy Committee members also met with the leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to discuss health disparity issues within the transplant arena.

The Society's meetings with Congressional decision-makers have already resulted in new House and Senate co-sponsors for important legislation that would expand patients' Medicare coverage for immunosuppressive drugs.

About the AST Public Policy Committee

AST's Public Policy Committee, which is comprised of transplant professionals, regularly delivers the AST public policy message to Congress and the Administration. This strategy has been effective in ensuring that members of Congress and Capitol Hill staff are aware of the issues that impact transplantation. AST Public Policy Committee members are also committed to increasing the level of awareness of transplant issues.

About AST

The American Society of Transplantation is an international organization of transplant professionals dedicated to advancing the field of transplantation through the promotion of research, education, advocacy, and organ donation to improve patient care. The Society comprises more than 2,900 transplant physicians, surgeons and allied health professionals.

For more information about AST, please visit

    (215) 884-6499

SOURCE American Society of Transplantation
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