AATB Emphasizes Tissue Banks Deemed an Essential Health Care Operation

March 17, 2020

McLean, VA—March 17, 2020— In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant closures of businesses and non-essential operations by many state governments, AATB would like to emphasize that tissue banks are an essential health care operation. Not only are they recognized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under Emergency Support Function #8 as a critical public health and medical service, but tissue banks are also recognized within the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), under section 319C-3(c)(2) as “appropriate health care providers and professionals” who should be consulted in assembling key resources to deal with 319 Public Health Emergencies.

“Emergency Support Function (ESF) #8 – Public Health and Medical Services” provides the mechanism for coordinated Federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and local resources in response to a public health and medical disaster, potential or actual incidents requiring a coordinated Federal response, and/or during a developing potential health and medical emergency.”

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The American Association of Tissue Banks 

The American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) is a professional, non-profit, scientific and educational organization. It is one of the only national tissue banking organizations in the United States, and its membership totals 120 accredited tissue banks and approximately 1,800 individual members. These banks recover tissue from more than 39,000 donors and distribute in excess of 3.2 million allografts annually for tissue transplants performed in the U.S., as well as providing tissue to physicians, students and research institutions to enhance medical education and develop improved treatments for illness, injury, and disease. For more information, visit www.aatb.org.