Dear AATB Members,
I hope that everyone is having a great start to their new year. Here at the AATB office, we've already begun work on several new projects to ensure that 2018 is another successful year. We have revamped our webinar series structure and made some major improvements to our CTBS Prep Program. We have also launched a brand-new page on our website which details the advocacy initiatives of the AATB Tissue Policy Group (TPG).
I started off the year in Pasadena, California at the 129th Rose Parade. As the newly appointed Chairman of the Donate Life America Board of Directors, it was very moving to see the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation so beautifully represented in the float's theme, The Gift of Time, and to have the opportunity to connect with some incredible donor families and recipients. I was particularly excited to meet 17-year old musculoskeletal tissue recipient, P.J. Williams, who was sponsored by AATB to ride on the Donate Life float. P.J. was nominated to participate in the parade by the AATB-accredited organization, Lifebanc. You can read more about P.J. and the Rose Parade in this issue's article titled The Ride of His Life.
Float rider nominations for 2019 will open in May, so please look out for that announcement and consider nominating a tissue recipient that you feel should be honored as a float rider in the 2019 Rose Parade.
I'm excited to report that we've made several changes to our educational programming for 2018. In January, we launched our new Topic of the Month Webinar Series, a new offering that provides organization-wide access to a 3-part series of webinar presentations each month. Make sure to register for the February Series on skin banking, which begins February 14.
This year we will also be changing the structure of our Certified Tissue Bank Specialist (CTBS) Preparation Course in order to provide a more comprehensive and convenient way for applicants to prepare for the CTBS Exam. You can read more about these exciting improvements in the 2018 CTBS Prep Course article included in this issue.
Tissue Policy Group Webpage
We recently launched a new page on our website to outline the advocacy efforts of the AATB Tissue Policy Group, LLC (TPG), including a brief description of each area of interest, along with a collection of supporting primary documents covering those topic areas. This webpage will provide greater transparency and allow members to easily find out how our regulatory and legislative advocacy is working for the tissue banking community. You can read more about the TPG's most recent efforts in the TPG Updates article included in this issue.
Finally, we are incredibly excited to have successfully completed the National Tissue Recovery through Utilization Survey (NTRUS). We are currently working to analyze the data and compile a comprehensive report for release in Q2 of 2018. An overview of some of the key highlights will be available in our first ever Annual Report, which will be released in March.
Frank S. Wilton
President & Chief Executive Officer