AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR DONATION AND TRANSPLANTATION (AFDT), THE OLDEST TRANSPLANT PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY IN THE US, CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF SERVICE
The American Foundation for Donation and Transplantation has served organ transplant professionals and patients since 1969 when it began in Richmond, Virginia. Founded as the Southeastern Organ Procurement Foundation (SEOPF) by the late transplant pioneer, Dr. David Hume while at the Medical College of Virginia, this organization was the first to include all transplant professionals: physicians, surgeons, nurses, immunologists, administrators and donor organizations. The goal has been to enhance access to transplantation, improve quality and outcomes, and increase organ donation by facilitating collaboration between transplant centers and professionals by providing education, training and sharing of best practices.
SEOPF was the first to develop computer based organ sharing in 1969 with funding from the US Public Health Service. This was coupled with improvements in organ preservation and histocompatibility for donor-recipient matching to expand organ sharing and increase transplants among centers in the Southeastern area. This led to a nationwide service for matching and sharing, the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS), which was established by SEOPF in 1981. After the passage of the National Organ Transplant Act, UNOS was awarded the government contract in 1987 to be the National Organ Procurement and Transplant Network. UNOS has continued in this role to date and is the master organization under the Department of Health and Human Services which is responsible for the development and implementation of transplant policy and allocation of all organs for patients listed in the UNOS database. UNOS has remained headquartered in Richmond since its origin from SEOPF.
After UNOS took on its government role, SEOPF became the AFDT to recognize its role as a national organization. Current AFDT activities include professional education in Transplant Quality Management, Living Donor Advocate and Coordinator training, Histocompatibility Laboratory Training, sponsorship of the David Hume Lectureship, a Living Organ Donor Network offering life and permanent disability insurance for living kidney donors, and a procurement billing service for transplant centers and organ procurement agencies.
AFDT looks forward to many more years of service to patients and professionals.