About UNOS and the OPTN
Positions and fact sheets
United Network for Organ Sharing is the mission-driven, non-profit organization that serves as the nation’s organ donation and transplant system—the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN)—under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
UNOS carries out this lifesaving work by …
- Including all members of the donation and transplant community, including patients, donors and donor families, as valued equals in the organ allocation policy development process.
- Ensuring equitable access to organ transplants, no matter who you are or where you live.
- Demonstrating our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement.
- Advocating at the federal level for innovative policies and regulations that support growth.
- Honoring the gift of life in all that we do.
United Network for Organ Sharing is the mission-driven, non-profit organization that serves as the nation’s organ donation and transplant system—the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN)—under contract with and oversight by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
FAQs about UNOS’ role
What is the OPTN?
The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) is the name of the transplant system in the United States. The OPTN brings together volunteer donation and transplant professionals, patients, donors and donor families to develop the nation’s organ allocation policies. The OPTN acts through its Board of Directors.
Visit OPTN website
UNOS positions and fact sheets
UNOS positions on legislation
- UNOS letter supporting the Charlotte Woodward Organ Transplant Discrimination Prevention Act (29 Aug. 2023)
- UNOS position on the Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Act (30 June 2023)
- Stakeholder letter supporting organ transport provision in FAA reauthorization (19 June 2023)
- UNOS supports the Living Donor Protection Act (15 May 2023)
- UNOS opposes “Stop Arduous Vaccine Enforcement (SAVE) Act” of 2022 (14 Feb. 2022)
- UNOS supports the Living Donor Protection Act (9 Dec. 2021)
- UNOS joins Families USA coalition supporting dental coverage in Medicare Part B (23 Sept. 2021)
UNOS positions on regulations
- UNOS and OPTN response to CMS health and safety request for information (1 Feb. 2022)
- UNOS, AST and ASTS notice to FDA on organ preservation solution shortage (16 Dec. 2021)
- UNOS comments on CMS-1752-P FY22 IPPS rule for acute care hospitals (27 June 2021)
- OPTN response to Transplant Procedures with Live Donors and Related Care Services, Department of Veterans Affairs (21 May 2021)
- UNOS, AST and ASTS joint response to CMS Medicare and Medicaid Programs; OPO conditions for participation (4 March 2021)
- OPTN response to CMS-3380 Medicare and Medicaid Programs; OPO conditions for participation (1 March 2021)
- OPTN response to CMS 3380 Medicare and Medicaid Programs; OPO conditions for participation (20 Feb. 2020)
Fact sheets and statements
- UNOS Statement for the Record Senate Finance Health Subcommittee Hearing (20 July 2023)
- Updated statement concerning Buckeye Transplant Services (20 July 2023)
- UNOS statement on the 2023 OPO Public Performance Report by CMS (28 April 2023)
- UNOS statement supporting improvements to the national system (22 March 2023)
- Follow-up letter to the Department of Transportation regarding organ transport on commercial flights (17 March 2023)
- Setting the record straight on liver allocation policy (28 Feb. 2023)
- Actions to strengthen the U.S. organ donation and transplant system (30 Jan. 2023) View PDF or web version
- UNOS leadership sends letter to HRSA Administrator seeking to advance plan for governance restructuring (10 Jan. 2023)
- UNOS leadership seeks meeting with U.S. Digital Service and formal review (4 Jan. 2023)
- UNOS leadership seeks better air transportation for lifesaving organs (8 Dec. 2022)
- UNOS CEO shares vision for pivotal moment in the organ donation and transplant community (5 Dec. 2022)
- UNOS Board of Directors statement on the national examination of the organ donation and transplant system (1 Sept. 2022)
- UNOS statement on Senate Finance Committee Hearing (4 Aug. 2022)
- UNOS CEO Brian Shepard’s testimony to the Senate Finance Committee (3 Aug. 2022)
- Letter to HRSA Administrator from UNOS Board President Dr. Jerry McCauley (2 Aug. 2022)
- UNOS Board of Directors statement on the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade (8 July 2022)
- The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and American Society of Nephrology (ASN) thank OPTN for eliminating use of race-based calculations of kidney function in transplant (23 June 2022)
- UNOS letter to Chairman Krishnamoorthi on House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee’s OPO investigation report (28 April 2022)
- OPTN letter to National Academies’ Committee on Organ Donation and Transplant System (27 April 2022)
- Liver transplants up 5% in 18 month report (20 Dec. 2021)
- U.S. surpasses 40,000 transplants in a year milestone (20 Dec. 2021)
- Kidney transplants up 22% (1 Nov. 2021)
- UNOS statement regarding COVID-19 vaccine and transplantation (6 Oct. 2021)
UNOS recently received the results of a comprehensive assessment it commissioned as a part of its ongoing efforts to drive improvement and emphasize transparency.
Roadmap outlines how to create an independent OPTN Board in a move endorsed by Congress
Floor vote establishes a work group to review whether organs transported via commercial flight could once again travel safely in a plane’s cabin
New policies require candidates to meet medical eligibility criteria to be eligible for a required kidney share on the heart or lung match.
The required share threshold for simultaneous liver-kidney (SLK) allocation has expanded from 250 nautical miles to 500 nautical miles for eligible adult candidates (e.g., Status 1A or MELD of 29 or greater).
The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network Ad-hoc Multi Organ Transplantation Committee has implemented several safety net policies to ensure patients in need of multiple organ transplants to get priority when they become medically eligible.
Are you passionate about organ donation and transplantation? Are you looking for an opportunity to make a greater impact on the transplant community? Learn how you can apply to volunteer for the OPTN.
Be an ambassador
Spread the word about UNOS, organ donation and transplantation. Volunteer as a UNOS Ambassador and we’ll provide tools, tips, and resources to help you share UNOS’ lifesaving mission in your community.