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HHS secretary adds new members to organ transplantation advisory committee

Published on: Friday, August 17, 2001

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced the appointment of 21 new members to the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation. The committee will advise the Secretary on all aspects of organ donation, procurement, allocation and transplantation, including a review of organ allocation policies developed by the nation's transplantation network.

With today's announcement, Secretary Thompson expanded the committee from 20 to 41 members and amended its charter to expand the scope of its responsibilities to include advising the Secretary on ways to increase organ donation nationally.

"The science of organ transplantation has made remarkable advances. What was once rare and experimental is now almost common and routine for some kinds of transplants. However, our efforts to promote donation have not kept pace with the science or the need. We need not only transplant experts but also passionate advocates and new ideas if we're going to increase organ donation," Secretary Thompson said.

The advisory committee is chaired by Nancy L. Ascher, M.D., Ph.D., liver transplant surgeon and Professor and Chair at the Department of Surgery, University of California at San Francisco. The initial meeting of the committee is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 3 and 4 in Washington, D.C., and the committee is expected to meet three times a year. Previously appointed and new members bring a broad array of experience and expertise to the committee including 19 physicians, eight transplant recipients or family members of a recipient, six nurses, and two organ donor mothers, all with critical experience regarding organ transplants.

In April, Secretary Thompson launched a new national initiative to encourage and enable Americans to "Donate the Gift of Life." The initial step in the campaign included the launch of a national "Workplace Partnership for Life," in which employers, unions and other employee organizations will join in a nationwide network to promote donation.

New members include:

Phil H. Berry, Jr., M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon, Dallas, Texas, liver transplant recipient. Founded Southwest Transplant Foundation.

Robert P. Charrow, Attorney with Crowell & Moring, LLP, Washington, D.C., responsibilities include reimbursement and regulatory issues under Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Health Care Acts, formerly Principal Deputy General Counsel of HHS (1985-1989).

Catherine C. Crone, M.D., Director of Psychiatric Services at Inova Lung Transplant Center, Falls Church, Va., Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Georgetown University.

Roger W. Evans, Ph.D., noted international authority with 25 years experience on health issues pertaining to organ and tissue transplantation, Associate Editor, Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, and Associate Editor of Graft, Rochester, Minn.

Susan Gunderson, R.N., CEO of LifeSource OPO in St. Paul, Minn., immediate past president of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations, and current member of the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors She established and directs this OPO, which serves three states.

Larry Hagman, a liver transplant recipient, television actor, actively involved in numerous civic and philanthropic activities, including spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation's U.S. Transplant Games since 1996, Ojai, Calif.

Robert D. Higgins, M.D., Chairman of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, Va., currently a member of the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors.

Son-Ja Robet Jones, a double organ, kidney-pancreas transplant recipient from Rochester Hills, Mich., national advocate to bring wide attention to health awareness regarding organ, tissue and marrow donation.

Barry D. Kahan, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Division of Immunology and Organ Transplantation at the Department of Surgery of the University of Texas Medical School, Surgeon-Director of the Multi-Organ Transplant Center at Hermann Hospital, Houston, Texas.

Arlene J. Locicero, retired teacher, Hawthorne, N.J., is a donor mother, with regard to her daughter Amy, who died in the Long Island Railroad Massacre, Dec. 7, 1993. Her daughter's heart and kidneys were donated.

Diana Lugo, R.N., Vice President of Specialty Services at St. Vincent's Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif., previously she served as Administrative Director for Transplant and Cardiovascular Services at St. Vincent's.

Amadeo Marcos, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery and Director of the Solid Organ Transplant Program, University of Rochester, N.Y., serves on the Editorial Board of Liver Transplantation.

James D. Perkins, M.D., Professor and Director of the Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine, founding member of the LifeCenter Northwest OPO.

Deborah M. Rodriguez, two-time recipient of a living kidney transplant, Public Education Coordinator, LifeQuest Organ Recovery Services OPO, Jacksonville, Fla.

Michael S. Seely, Executive Director, Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank, Portland, Ore., current member of the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors, LifeCenter NW OPO in Seattle, Wash.

James Shanteau, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., director the Organ Donation Research Laboratory at KSU, holds visiting appointments at the universities of Michigan, Oregon, Colorado and Cornell and the National Science Foundation.

Hans W. Sollinger, M.D., Ph.D., Folkert O. Belzer Professor of Surgery and Chairman of the Division of Organ Transplantation at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison, Wis., and Director of the Tissue Typing Laboratory.

Deborah C. Surlas, R.N., kidney-pancreas recipient, President/Owner of MBA Associates, Inc., Aurora, Ill., where she acts as a Medical-Legal Nurse Consultant and Clinical Audit Review Specialist, specializing in health insurance issues involving transplants and donor cases.

Katherine L. Turrisi, R.N., Transplant Program Administrator at the Medical University of South Carolina Transplant Center, Charleston, S.C.

Michael A. Williams, M.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.

Carlton J. Young, M.D., Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, serves on the OPTN/UNOS Histocompatibility Committee and Assistant Director of Organ Recovery for the Alabama Organ Center.