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Presenter: Francis L. , Delmonico, ,
Authors: Francis L. Delmonico, Beatriz Dominguez-Gil, Sam Shemie, Howard M. Nathan, Helen Opdam
Senior Surgeon, Massachusetts General Hospital
Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Chief Medical Officer, New England Donor Services
During his 40 year long career as a transplant surgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and as Professor of Surgery Harvard Medical School, Francis L. Delmonico has uniquely contributed to changing the practice of organ donation and transplantation worldwide. His long standing career at the MGH was accomplished with the mentorship, support and direction of A. Benedict Cosimi and Paul S. Russell.
In 2005, Dr. Delmonico was elected president of the United Network of Organ Sharing/Organ Procurement Transplant Network (UNOS/OPTN) after 2 decades of UNOS committee leadership.
In 2008 as the Director of Medical Affairs (DMA) of TTS, Dr. Delmonico convened an international Summit of transplant professionals, legal scholars and ethicists in drafting the Declaration of Istanbul (DOI). This international policy document defined organ trafficking and transplant tourism, called for the equitable distribution of deceased donor organs and for the safety of transplant recipients and the wellbeing of living donors. The DOI is perhaps one of the most influential documents to standardize practices in the history of transplantation. Dr. Delmonico’s collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) was seminal in the development of WHO Guiding Principles of practice, subsequently adopted by the World Health Assembly.
He was elected president of The Transplantation Society (TTS) in 2012. The membership of TTS expanded greatly during his presidency to be inclusive of all professionals involved in the care of organ transplant recipients.
As Chief Medical Officer of New England Donor Services, formerly New England Organ Bank (NEOB) --for 25 years, his local and national leadership has been profound in establishing the medical suitability of organs derived from deceased donors. Dr. Delmonico initiated the first regional program of paired kidney donation in the United States in 2000 under the auspices of the NEOB. The NEOB was acknowledged for its contribution to the development of paired kidney exchange in the Nobel Prize awarded to Professor Alvin Roth in 2012.
Between 2008 and 2012, while serving on the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Board of Trustees and as DMA of TTS, he convened and chaired conferences on the live organ donor for which he received the David M. Hume Lifetime Achievement Award. For his efforts to expand deceased donation worldwide, he was the recipient of an honorary doctorate at the Karolinska Institute.
In 2016, Dr. Delmonico was appointed by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences following his nomination by Nobel Laureate Joseph Murray. Dr. Delmonico was responsible for convening the 2017 Pontifical Academy Summit on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism.
In 2020, he convened an international group of experts to develop a Collaborative Statement to promote deceased organ donation after circulatory death; now widely distributed to the intensive care community.
Dr. Delmonico was a recipient of the 2020 Medawar Prize, acknowledging his lifetime contributions to the field. Dr. Delmonico is globally recognized for his commitment to promulgate the ethical practice of organ donation and transplantation for a common humanity. A visiting professorship has been established in Dr. Delmonico’s name at the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Shemie’s area of interest is organ replacement during critical illness and the continuum between life, death and oxygen delivery. He is a pediatric critical care physician, ECMO specialist and trauma team leader at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, McGill University Health Centre. He is a Professor of Pediatrics at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, McGill University and honourary staff in the Department of Critical Care Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto. He is medical advisor, deceased organ donation, with Canadian Blood Services. His academic focus is advancing the science and practice of deceased organ donation. His research interests include the clinical and policy impact of organ failure support technologies, the development and implementation of national ICU-based leading practices in organ donation and research at the intersection of end-of-life care, death determination and deceased donation.
President & CEO, Gift of Life Donor Program
Howard Nathan is the longest-serving Chief Executive of any organ procurement organization in the United States, recently celebrating his 43rd anniversary with Gift of Life Donor Program in July 2021. Since 1974, the program has coordinated more than 54,000 organs for transplantation and approximately 2.0 million tissue transplants.
Gift of Life is one of the oldest of the 57 organ procurement organizations in the United States and under Mr. Nathan’s leadership has grown to be the largest organ donation program in the country, with a network of 15 transplant centers with 40 organ-specific programs and 128 donor hospitals.
In 2020, for the 13th consecutive year, Gift of Life Donor Program is the nation’s leading OPO, coordinating 619 organ donors, resulting in 1,621 organ transplants, the most life-saving organs for transplant among all 58 U.S. OPOs.
Considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on organ and tissue donation, Mr. Nathan is a regular presenter at national and international organ and tissue procurement, transplantation, and medical/healthcare conferences. He and has published more than 400 scientific papers and abstracts during his career and has travelled to over 30 countries to promote best practices in organ donation and transplantation.
He has served on numerous leadership boards including: United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), Association of Organ Procurement Organization (AOPO), North American Transplant Coordinators Organization (NATCO), International Society for Organ Donation and Procurement (ISODP), Donate Life America (DLA), LifeLogics, Inc., MTF Biologics (MTF) Board of Trustees, National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI), National Kidney Foundation (NKF), Organ Donation & Transplantation Alliance (The Alliance), and the Governor Robert P. Casey Memorial Trust Fund Organ Donation Advisory Committee (ODAC), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, among others.
Mr. Nathan has appeared on hundreds of local, national and international television news and talk shows and has received numerous outstanding achievement awards, most recently Doctor of Humane Letters from Juniata College (2021), Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley “Knight of the Blind” Award (2017), Juniata College “Alumni Achievement Award” (2017), Donate Life America "Nicholas Green Lifetime Achievement Award” (2017), Transplant Recipients International Organization, Inc. (TRIO) Lifetime Achievement Award (2018), the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) President’s Award (2018), and Main Line Today “Healthcare Heroes” Award (2019).
National Medical Director, Australian Organ and Tissue Authority
Associate Professor Helen Opdam is the National Medical Director of the Australian Organ and Tissue Authority. She is a Senior Intensive Care Specialist at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne and Director of Warringal Private Hospital Intensive Care Unit.
Helen has been involved in organ donation since 1998, initially in developing an audit to determine the potential for organ donation. She was the inaugural Victorian State Medical Director for Organ and Tissue Donation at the time that the National Reform to boost donation in Australia began in 2009. She is a Council member of the International Society for Organ Donation and Procurement, and participates on key Australian committees including the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) Death and Organ Donation Committee and the National Health and Medical Research Council Expert Advisory Group for the development of ethical guidelines for organ transplantation from deceased donors.
She is a regular invited speaker at national and international conferences.
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