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Unprecedented Planning Meeting of Transplant Thought Leaders To Set Guidelines for Achieving Patients' Lifelong Wellness; With Patient Longevity Increasing Everyday, Summit Will Determine and Deliver Tools Needed For Long-Term Patient Success.

BANFF, Alberta, Canada, March 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Society of Transplantation (AST) hosted a one-day, invitation-only forum for healthcare providers along the continuum of patient care to discuss longer-term care and wellness issues for organ transplant recipients. The meeting, "Enhancing Wellness: Lifelong Success for the Transplant Patient," was the first planning session of its kind, designed to address how to provide individualized resources and care for patients and medical providers along their continuum of care. Held in conjunction with the AST 9th Annual Winter Symposium, the meeting brought together thought leaders from the transplant community on March 20, 2005, in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Attendees included transplant physicians, surgeons, coordinators, nurses, pharmacists and social workers.

One-on-one interviews with transplant recipients were conducted to lay the groundwork for the meeting to help determine what resources transplant patients need once they have successfully undergone surgery from an educational perspective. Patient research reveals that recent transplant recipients and their caregivers as much as ten years post-surgery want more streamlined and individualized information, from medical care givers as well as Web sites, videos and print materials.

"You're never out of the woods when you have an organ transplant, you have a chronic condition for the rest of your life," said Jeffrey, liver transplant recipient nine years post-surgery. Every transplant recipient has a different experience and follows a different timeline of returning to what one patient very accurately called a 'new normal' way of life. Transplant recipients will also be a part of the panel designated to create the materials and resources resulting from the meeting.

"Fifteen years ago, our primary goal was getting transplant recipients to make it through surgery. Today, patients are living longer and need more attention from healthcare providers along the entire continuum of care," said Jay Fishman, M.D., President of the American Society of Transplantation, Director of the Transplant Infectious Diseases and Compromised Host Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. "This forum will assess how we can best provide transplant recipients and their care givers the tools they need for long-term success -- from both the health and life perspectives."

Topics ranging from the "perfect scenario" wellness timeline to quality of life and transferring care to the community will be addressed at the Enhancing Wellness planning meeting. Interactive settings will identify issues along the continuum of care that affect a patient's wellness, and put actions in place to create the materials and resources needed to help improve patient wellness.

"Comprehensive information and resources are available for patients who are awaiting transplant, or have just received a transplant and are preparing to leave the hospital," says Dr. Fishman. "With the increased success rate of transplantation procedures, both patients and healthcare providers have noticed a significant information gap for patients who are further along their timeline of post-operative care. One of the goals of the Enhancing Wellness meeting is to develop a toolkit that will educate and support transplant patients and their caregivers as they progress along a post-operative timeline."

The Enhancing Wellness meeting is made possible by an unrestricted educational grant from Fujisawa Healthcare, Inc.

About AST

The American Society of Transplantation (AST) was founded in 1982 and is an organization of more then 2,300 transplant professionals dedicated to research, education, advocacy and patient care in transplantation. AST's goal is to offer a forum for the exchange of knowledge, scientific information and expertise in the field of transplantation.

CONTACT: Media, Elissa Armstrong, +1-312-751-4198, +1-312-285-3203 (on-site), armstroe@fleishman.com , Sarah Orenic, +1-216-928-3452, +1-312-933-8289 (on-site), orenics@fleishman.com , both of Fleishman-Hillard Inc.; or Amy Chezem, AST Communications Director, +1-856-439-9986, ext. 4422, achezem@ahint.com
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Date:Mar 21, 2005
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