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AOPO Supports Efforts to Improve Transportation of Life-Saving Organs
President Sends Letter to Department of Transportation Urging a Meeting with UNOS to Identify Solutions
McLean, VA (December 19, 2022) — The Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) has joined efforts to improve the transportation of life-saving organs. In a letter sent today to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg, AOPO President Barry Massa urges the DOT, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to meet with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) on this important issue.
AOPO is the national representative of 49 Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) in the U.S., the federally designated, non-profit entities responsible for the facilitation of the organ donation process, including the transportation of organs between donor and recipient.
“After organs are recovered from donors, there are mere hours to transplant them before they are no longer viable,” says Barry Massa, AOPO President and Executive Director of LifeCenter Organ Donor Network. “OPOs are tasked with determining the safest and most efficient ways to transport organs. While transportation incidents are rare, it is important to address challenges and identify opportunities to improve the current process.”
OPOs are partnering with companies to offer organ tracking technology and expedited air and ground transportation services. However, barriers remain for commercial air travel, requiring organs to fly as cargo – significantly taking critical time off an organ’s life.
“One of the pillars of AOPO’s goal to reach 50,000 annual organ transplants in 2026 is to drive innovation and research which will increase organ utilization and save more lives,” says AOPO CEO Steve Miller. “We are dedicated to supporting efforts to enact new regulations and practical solutions to make organ transportation more efficient.”
AOPO has urged the DOT, FAA, TSA, and HRSA to meet with UNOS to discuss the dire need for improvements in organ transportation to save lives.
View AOPO’s letter to the DOT.
The Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) is the national representative of 49 federally designated nonprofit Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) in the United States, which serve millions of Americans combined. AOPO is dedicated to providing education, information sharing, research, technical assistance, and collaboration with OPOs, other stakeholders, and federal agencies to continue this nation’s world-leading transplant rates while consistently improving towards the singular goal of saving as many lives as possible. For more information, please visit www.aopo.org.