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Transplant Community Unites to Educate Capitol Hill Staffers About the 'Gift of Life'

AST, NKF, UNOS & AOPO Coordinate Briefing on Feb. 12

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Capitol Hill staffers, who play a significant role in preparing federal legislation, received an educational briefing from representatives of key transplantation groups. The American Society of Transplantation (AST), The National Kidney Foundation (NKF), United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), and Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) partnered with the Congressional Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Caucus to present, Giving the Gift of Life: Why Organ Donation Matters. Finding a way to provide organs for the more than 100,000 Americans awaiting a life saving donor organ is one of the nation's greatest challenges. Each day, approximately 18 people die awaiting an organ transplant because the demand far outweighs the supply required to extend the gift of life through solid organ transplantation.

Congressional staffers listened to an overview of pertinent transplantation issues presented by David Cohen, MD, AST. Other distinguished speakers included: Timothy Pruett, MD, UNOS President; Lori Brigham, Executive Director AOPO, and Forest Hamlin, spouse of an organ donor.

"This is an extraordinary event. The AST applauds the revitalization of the Congressional Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Caucus," noted AST Public Policy Committee Chairman David Briscoe, MD. "I am encouraged by the enthusiastic response to this session and anticipate that it will positively impact the federal government's role in transplantation policy."

The Congressional Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Caucus (COTDAC) seeks to increase organ and tissue donation and awareness of the national organ shortage, both within Congress and in the general public. The Caucus will support federal and private sector efforts to increase donation and transplantation, and to educate all Americans on the importance of committing to become organ and tissue donors. The Caucus will advocate on behalf of policy initiatives that improve and enhance the effectiveness of transplantation.

For more information about transplantation policy issues, visit

Contact: Beth Drost

(215) 884.6499

SOURCE American Society of Transplantation
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