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5 things to know: Volunteering for the board or a committee

5 things to know: Volunteering for the board or a committee

Call for nominations open through Sept. 15 for terms beginning in 2024

Have you ever considered sharing your expertise and perspective to shape the future of the nation’s transplant system?

If so, now is the time to act. If not, here is your chance to learn more and see if you would be interested in volunteering.

The OPTN is seeking nominations through Sept. 15, 2023, for people to be considered for open positions on the board and committees for terms beginning July 1, 2024.

More detailed information is available on the OPTN website about the specific needs for each committee and the board, as well as details about the application and selection process. But here are the basics you need to know.

We need your expertise and input.

Nearly 400 people volunteer each year on an OPTN committee or the board of directors. Each person brings unique experiences and views to develop national transplant policy and membership standards, as well as resources and guidance to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the transplant system.

The OPTN particularly seeks volunteers who are not donation or transplant professionals but who have personal experience as a transplant candidate, recipient or patient family member; a living donor; or a donor family member.

The OPTN is also seeking professionals representing the many disciplines involved in donation and transplantation. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Information technology: Technology strategy, EHR/EMR integration, web APIs or FHIR, mobile computing, cloud computing, information management, Software as a Service (SaaS), information analytics and visualization
  • Legal and risk management: Corporate governance and/or regulatory compliance
  • Banking and finance, particularly healthcare finance
  • Public health, including community health and health equity
  • Experience building and supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts

We seek diversity.

The OPTN serves the entire nation, and its governance should reflect the experiences and perspectives of all people it represents. Through the nomination and appointment process, the OPTN seeks to include people of diverse backgrounds, heritage and viewpoints who are interested in serving the community as a whole.

Volunteer service requires your time and attention.

Most volunteers serve a two- to three-year term. They are expected to attend in-person meetings (generally held twice a year) and participate in additional conference calls. Many committees have additional subcommittees or task groups that advise the work of the full committee. Some work will involve additional study or discussion outside of scheduled meetings and calls.

That said, most volunteers find great satisfaction in playing a significant role to improve the national transplant system. Many clinicians also gain additional perspective they can bring back to their own institution to help improve care for those they serve. (Lisa Matthias and Precious McCowan describe their service on OPTN committees.)

It’s easy to apply.

Anyone interested in potentially serving on a committee or the board needs to complete a Volunteer Interest Form. This allows the OPTN to consider your interest and expertise in light of the roles needed for the coming year. The form is customized to your particular experience or profession, dynamically supplying questions that are most relevant to your background or area of interest.

The Get Involved page on the OPTN website provides more detail about the nomination and selection process for both the board and committees.

We’re looking right now for potential volunteers.

The OPTN will consider any form submitted by September 15, 2023, for terms beginning in July 2024. The specific list of open positions for the board and for each committee is available on the OPTN website, but you may complete and submit your Volunteer Interest Form at any time. Applicants who submit forms after October 1, 2023, will be considered for the next year’s cycle.

The OPTN Nominating Committee  develops an election slate each year for open positions on the next year’s Board of Directors. The slate will then be published for an election beginning in January. Applicants who are appointed to committee positions will be notified in March.

For more information about the volunteer process or how to apply, visit the Get Involved page on the OPTN website or send an e-mail to [email protected].

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