More than 120,000 individuals continue to wait for a transplant in the United States. Nearly 3,000 of those in need of a life-saving transplant reside in our service area of Alaska, Montana, North Idaho, and Washington State.
To address this ongoing public health issue, the Obama Administration recently announced a new initiative to improve the national organ donation and transplant system at the White House Organ Donation Summit held Monday, June 13. Key actions of this initiative include:
- Increasing organ donation registrations
- Reducing wait times for life-saving organ transplants
- Investing in innovative clinical research and development
President and CEO of LifeCenter Northwest (LCNW), Kevin O’Connor was among donation and transplant leaders from across the nation handpicked to attend the summit. O’Connor also represented LCNW as a breakout session speaker discussing different strategies for increasing donation after circulatory death and improving kidney utilization. Honorary attendees also discussed the administration’s commitment to improving outcomes for those waiting for a transplant.
“It was an honor to witness firsthand the clear intent of the White House and key federal healthcare agencies to generate breakthrough improvement in the national donation and transplantation system,” O’Connor said.
The summit marks a significant stride towards increasing access to organ transplants and reducing the organ transplant waiting list. In the next 180 days, the Administration will provide an update with detailed steps to improve the two initiatives as well as report progress from public and private contributions. The update will serve as a foundation for opportunities to narrow the gap between the 95 percent of Americans who support organ donation and the 50 percent who are registered donors, along with facilitating research and development.
Not only does the White House Organ Donation Summit combine the efforts of those in the donation and transplantation community, but also reassures that larger commitments will follow to improve outcomes for individuals on the transplant waiting list.
Locally, LCNW continues to deliver significant breakthrough improvements to the transplant system. Under O’Connor’s leadership, our organization has observed four consecutive record breaking years for both organ and tissue donation. If you would like to learn more regarding the White House Organ Summit and the Obama Administration’s efforts to revise organ donation and the transplant system, please visit link(s) below.