There are more than one million tissue transplants performed annually in the U.S that save lives, relieve pain, improve mobility and even regenerate cells to form new skin and bone. Donated human tissue is processed into usable “allografts” for surgeons by tissue banks. The tissue banking industry is highly regulated by federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with state and local regulatory bodies to promote the safety of patients.
Another key group that promotes safety standards and best practices for honoring tissue donors is the nonprofit American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). Since its founding in 1976, the AATB has promoted the safety, quality and availability of donated human tissue. The AATB is now considered the definitive source on safety and standards in the tissue banking industry, and most tissue banks in the country elect to become AATB-certified in a show of commitment to the organization’s high standards.
So why is the AATB important to you and me? The organization:
- Saves and improves lives of tissue recipients
- Makes tissue transplants safer for patients in need
- Ensures respectful treatment of tissue donors who have given the gift of life, by making certain that their gifts are maximized and produce safe and quality results
- Promises that new, safe possibilities for tissue transplantation will continue to emerge
I am proud to say that I have been chosen as the next President of AATB. I look forward to serving the AATB during an exciting time, as many new possibilities in regenerative medicine using tissue allografts are becoming available. We also must remain steadfast in our commitment to honoring donors and their families, because without their generous gifts none of this exciting work would be possible. I work full-time for nonprofit tissue bank AlloSource, where we are also unwavering in this mission to honor the gift of life.