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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Improving the understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Activities

Quality improvement/Evidence of Therapy

This section describes current quality improvement and evidence of therapy programs of the Federal government related to chronic kidney disease.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Funded by HRSA, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) is the unified transplant network established by Congress under the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984. The OPTN is a unique public-private partnership that links Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs), transplant programs, and histocompatability laboratories together into a national transplant system. The primary goals of the OPTN are to maximize the benefits to patients through patient-centric organ allocation policies; increase the efficiency, effectiveness and safety of the national organ allocation and distribution system; increase the supply of donated organs available for transplantation.

The OPTN monitors the outcomes of OPO's and transplant program's by using risk-adjusted data models and assists members in improving performance outcomes through a peer-mentoring process.

NOTA established the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR), which provides analytic support to the OPTN in the development and evaluation of OPTN organ allocation and other policies. The SRTR conducts independent research to add to the body of knowledge about organ donation and transplantation. Transplant program and OPO performance data are available on the SRTR website. The SRTR also makes solid organ transplantation data available to bonafide transplant researchers from the time of listing of the potential transplant recipient through graft failure or patient death.

Contact Information
Richard Durbin
Acting Director, Division of Transplantation
Phone: 301-443-6804
Email: RDurbin@hrsa.gov
Web: www.organdonor.gov

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Scientific Research

This section describes basic and clinical research activities supported or sponsored by the Federal government.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

The Clinical Interventions to Increase Organ Procurement Grant Program provides support for the implementation and evaluation of highly promising strategies and approaches that can serve as model interventions for identifying appropriate donation candidates, evaluating donated organs, maintaining donor stability, and optimizing methods for organ procurement. The ultimate goal of this grant program is to increase the number and quality of deceased donor organs (e.g. heart, liver, lung, pancreas, kidney, and intestine) in the United States.

HRSA participates in and provides funding to NIH conducted studies including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Clinical Outcomes of Live Organ Donors Consortium. This consortium studies the outcomes of living kidney and lung donors.

Contact Information
Richard Durbin
Acting Director, Division of Transplantation
Phone: 301-443-6804
Email: RDurbin@hrsa.gov
Web: www.organdonor.gov

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Public Outreach and Education

This section describes current outreach and education programs of the Federal government related to chronic kidney disease.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

HRSA promotes public awareness of and support for organ donation though public education and outreach activities, materials development and promotion, and collaborative relationships with the organ donation and transplantation community.

Examples of print materials for public distribution include brochures, calendars, and "Health Passports for Life," which provide space for people to record all of their health information for ready access and also contains information on organ donation and healthful living, and "Decision: Donation," a model instructional package for high school students about the importance of organ and tissue donation. Organdonor.gov, supported by HRSA, also provides substantial information about donation and transplantation.

Public outreach activities supported by HRSA include the "Workplace Partnership for Life" which focuses on raising awareness of and support for organ donation among employees in workplaces throughout the United States; traffic sponsorships/radio ads as well as a partnership with Hollywood, Health & Society to promote more accurate depictions of donation and transplantation in television programming. HRSA started and continues to be supportive of the National Donor Sabbath, which is an opportunity for members of various faiths to reflect on the act of donation, and takes place two weekends before Thanksgiving every year. In FY 2011 HRSA plans to launch a national effort targeting people 50 plus to encourage donor registration and debunk the myth that there are arbitrary age limits for donation. A campaign booklet will be available for public use.

HRSA developed and makes available to the public two documentaries (available on DVD) on organ donation and transplantation. Emmy award winning "No Greater Love" highlights the joys of life saved by transplant and the tragedies of lives lost because of organ shortage. "A Science of Miracles" chronicles the evolution of the incredible science of transplant surgery.

HRSA also funds two grant programs focused on increasing deceased donation and educating about living donation. One program funds research projects to identify effective outreach strategies for increasing donation; the other supports projects to replicate effective donation outreach strategies.

Contact Information
Richard Durbin
Acting Director, Division of Transplantation
Phone: 301-443-6804
Email: RDurbin@hrsa.gov
Web: www.organdonor.gov

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Delivery & Payment of CKD Care

This section describes activities related to the delivery and payment of chronic kidney disease care supported or sponsored by the Federal government.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

The primary goals of the OPTN are to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of organ sharing and equity in the national system of organ allocation by establishing and maintaining policies and procedures for the field of transplantation, and to increase the supply of donated organs available for transplantation.

The OPTN efforts related to delivery of care include:

  • Facilitating the organ matching and placement process through the use of the computer system and a fully staffed Organ Center operating 24 hours a day;

  • Developing consensus based policies and procedures for organ recovery, distribution (allocation), and transportation;

  • Managing a secure Web-based computer system, which maintains the nation's organ transplant waiting list and recipient/donor organ characteristics.

As of December 31, 2010, there were 110,000 candidates on the waitlist, of which 87,760 (79.6%) were waiting for a kidney transplant.

Contact Information
Richard Durbin
Acting Director, Division of Transplantation
Phone: 301-443-6804
Email: RDurbin@hrsa.gov
Web: www.organdonor.gov

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Professional Education and Outreach

This section describes education and outreach to health professionals of the Federal government related to chronic kidney disease.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

HRSA supported a series of Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaboratives from 2003 to 2008 to disseminate rapidly practices that proved effective in increasing the number and utilization of donor organs. The Collaborative series included participation of the organ procurement organizations (OPOs), donor hospitals, and transplant programs throughout the United States.. As best practices became integrated in organizational processes, this unified effort evolved into the Donation and Transplantation Community of Practice (DTCP). The DTCP is working to institutionalize donation and transplantation best practices through partnership, shared accountability, and effective leadership. Partners now include OPOs, hospitals, transplant centers, donor designation teams, and others who have an impact on organ donation and transplantation. From 2003 to December 2010, national performance on the Collaborative conversion rate (a measure reflecting the proportion of possible donors that become actual donors) has increased from 54.4 percent to 74.97 percent.

HRSA is also launching a Primary Care Project to target and encourage primary care physicians and their professional staff to engage in discussions about organ donation with their patients. This initiative is based on survey data suggesting that the American public feels organ donation is a health care issue and that the primary care doctor is the professional with whom they want to discuss it. Materials for this initiative will include posters, table top displays, informational cards, and question and answer cards for physician and staff.

Contact Information
Richard Durbin
Acting Director, Division of Transplantation
Phone: 301-443-6804
Email: RDurbin@hrsa.gov
Web: www.organdonor.gov

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Surveillance

This section describes surveillance activities and programs of the Federal government related to chronic kidney disease.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) collects and manages scientific data about organ donation and transplantation. OPTN maintains a secure Web-based computer system, which maintains the nation's organ transplant waiting list and recipient/donor organ characteristics.

The Disease Transmission Advisory Committee (DTAC) is an OPTN committee composed of organ procurement organizations, transplant center coordinators, transplant surgeons, and infectious disease, malignancy, and pathology specialists. DTAC considers issues related to the transmission of disease through organ transplantation. The Committee examines individual potential disease transmission cases reported to the OPTN in an effort to confirm transmissions where possible. It reviews aggregate data on all reported cases to assess the risk of donor disease transmission in organ transplantation in the U.S. with the goal of providing:

  • Education and guidance to the transplant community toward preventing future disease transmission

  • Input in developing policy to improve the safety of organ donation through the reduction of donor derived transmission events.

DTAC may identify disease-transmission related patient safety issues to be addressed, as appropriate, by the OPTN.

Contact Information
Richard Durbin
Acting Director, Division of Transplantation
Phone: 301-443-6804
Email: RDurbin@hrsa.gov
Web: www.organdonor.gov

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Page last updated: March 1, 2012