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A message to the transplant community

From Yolanda Becker, M.D., President of the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors

I am honored to be stepping into the UNOS presidency. Every UNOS President has daunting tasks to complete and I am hopeful that we can come together as a community to tackle the year ahead of us. It is no secret that we will discuss and debate enhancing liver distribution. This discussion would not be possible without the robust passion and dedication to doing the best for our patients as well as honoring the gift of life given by our donor families.

In the coming months, our community will discuss another public comment proposal by the liver committee as we continue to work toward a compromise that the OPTN/UNOS Board can approve this December.

It is a privilege to be able to engage in these discussions as it means that the field of transplant has truly evolved into a standard of care that is an expectation for all. It means that access to transplant is something that should be provided to all. It means that we need to look at all aspects of transplant from donor management and listing patients to post transplant care and access to lifelong immunosuppression. These are issues that impact our entire field, and I am sure that we are up to the task of improving all aspects of what we do.

We must engage in difficult conversations because Transplant is not an easy road. Sir Francis Drake said, “It’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.” We have come a long way on the journey to assessing how we do what we do. We will continue to learn and take on not just operational issues, but also issues that have real impact on real people. I hope that we progress on our journey of discovery and forge ahead to the assessment of our opportunities.

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