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2021-2024 OPTN Strategic Plan

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eye iconAt a glance

Current plan

The OPTN Board of Directors adopts a new strategic plan every three years. The 2018-2021 Strategic Plan was adopted in June 2018. The draft 2021-2024 OPTN Strategic Plan was developed with feedback from OPTN committee leadership and Board members. The OPTN Strategic Plan prioritizes initiatives and guides high level decisions and resource allocation for a three-year period.

Supporting media


View presentation slides

Requested feedback

  • Do you agree with the Board’s proposed areas of strategic focus for the 2021-2024 plan?
  • Is a goal or initiative missing from this plan that should be considered a strategic priority? Will resource allocation benchmarks need to be changed to accommodate the addition?
  • Are there goals or initiatives that should not be included in this plan? If so, should they be maintained in the OPTN’s future operations or discontinued altogether?
  • Are the stated performance metrics sufficient, measurable and specific?

Anticipated impact

  • What it's expected to do
    • Articulate strategic priorities for the OPTN Board and committees over the next three years
    • Define high-level organizational resource allocation benchmarks
    • Establish performance metrics for prioritized goals and their initiatives
  • What it won't do
    • Removal of a goal or initiative from the plan in a given year does not automatically indicate that work will discontinue - rather, it may have been incorporated in the organization’s operations and no longer considered a strategic priority.


  • System performance
  • Innovation
  • OPTN strategic priorities
  • OPTN operations

eye iconComments

Kidney Donor Conversations | 02/03/2021

As a nonprofit that provides education and support for living kidney donation, we have specific concerns there is not any focus in the 2021-2024 OPTN Strategic Plan to increase the number of living kidney donors, especially since this provides the best patient outcomes for those with ESKD (End Stage Kidney Disease). Providing public awareness about Living Kidney Donation should be a high priority now. This focus could also help to discover more non-directed donors, which in turn helps the most number of people on the kidney transplant waiting list by starting chains. If OPTN wants to increase the number of successful kidney transplants and help people live longer, it is time to stop the silence of living kidney donation and focus actions on this important public outreach initiative.

Region 4 | 02/04/2021

Region 4 sentiment: 7 strongly support; 11 support; 0 neutral/abstain; 0 oppose; 0 strongly oppose. During the meeting there were comments voiced during the discussion, submitted online and submitted as comments from the OPTN representatives. Overall, there was general agreement and support for this proposal. One attendee encouraged the DTAC to approach the CDC about the challenges presented by the 10-year living donor sample storage requirement. Another attendee commented that the OPTN should consider looking at the financial burden from the wider allocation strategies, which can eventually result in transplant program closures, transplant team burnout with no significant clinical impact. This attendee also recommend more oversight and data collection in transplant center practices regarding liver transplants for alcoholic hepatitis.

Anonymous | 02/10/2021

There remains tremendous opportunity to improve and standardize donor management for the purposes of increasing organ utilization and transplants. UNOS/OPTN has been uniquely positioned to promote/support much needed research in the field of donor management but has sadly lacked the ambition to broaden its scope to include this. I wholeheartedly agree that the primary goal should be to increase transplants but there must be a research initiative to facilitate this goal. No other organization is positioned to coordinate and support this type of research. Why not make quality research a focus of UNOS/OPTN? Why the lack of ambition?

Anonymous | 02/11/2021

There is a common theme surrounding efficiency and outcome improvements. I'm curious if there is a workgroup looking at the development of access to EMR's by developing API's that would enable OPOs and Tx's quicker access to deceased and living donor medical records?

Region 3 | 02/18/2021

Region 3 sentiment: Strongly support-1, Support-15, Neutral/abstain- 4, Oppose -0, Strongly oppose - 0. During the meeting there were comments voiced during the discussion, submitted online and submitted as comments from the OPTN representatives. One member recommended that the priority should be to develop system wide aligned metrics that measures the interactions between OPOs and Transplant centers with a focus on increased transplants overall as the top priority.

Region 5 | 02/19/2021

Region 5 sentiment: 10 strongly support, 20 support, 1 neutral/abstain, 0 oppose, 0 strongly oppose. No comments or questions

Policy Oversight Committee | 02/24/2021

The Policy Oversight Committee (POC) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the proposed 2021-2024 OPTN Strategic Plan. Of the three strategic policy priorities previously identified by the POC, the efficient matching policy priority aligns with the strategic plan goal to increase the number of transplants (Goal 1), and the continuous distribution and multi-organ transplantation policy priorities align with the strategic plan goal to provide equity in access to transplants (Goal 2). Members believe that living donation is a key mechanism by which the OPTN can increase the number of transplants, particularly kidney transplants, and recommend placing a higher emphasis on increasing the effectiveness of all living donation programs, rather than just paired living donation programs. A member suggested that increasing the number of transplants in of itself may not be the right goal if it dampens the volume of living donation, as this may not improve quality and access for the whole population of candidates. Accordingly, the member recommends that the OPTN evaluate how increases in deceased donation impact living donation. A member noted that efficiency is a significant problem in the current allocation system and should continue to be addressed under the goal to increase the number of transplants (Goal 1). The POC appreciates that the strategic plan will provide guidance to the POC for prioritizing OPTN work. The POC also plans to use the strategic plan as a guide for developing future strategic policy priorities, once more progress has been made in the current strategic policy priorities.

ANNA | 02/25/2021

ANNA supports this proposal; however, we recommend an addition to Goal 1 to increase the number of living donor kidney transplants to increase the total number of transplants.