NJ Sharing Network hosts 1st Transplant Growth Collaboration

Event in Red Bank draws senior executives from around country

The need for transplants in the state is matched by the growing number of organizations involved in the process. So, why not work together?

That was the idea last week, when NJ Sharing Network hosted its first-ever Transplant Growth Collaboration meeting, bringing together C-suite and senior transplant program and hospital leaders from across the nation.

The collaboration took place at Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank, and featured representatives from all six New Jersey transplant centers and eight of New York’s transplant centers.

The meeting’s goal was to provide a station for the exchange of innovative practices aimed at increasing the rate of successful transplantations and saving more lives.

The event was endorsed by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network and featured presentations and discussions on successful transplant programs, including Hackensack University Medical Center’s nationally leading kidney transplant program, known for its exceptional growth and patient outcomes.

NJ Sharing Network CEO Carolyn Welsh explained the objectives of the event and how they will continue to reflect its goals.

“We believe this event and future Transplant Growth Collaborations have the potential to revolutionize the way transplants are conducted,” she said. “We took pride in hosting this event in New Jersey, as we have experienced five consecutive years of organ donation growth, thanks to our health care partners and the generosity of those in the Garden State who say ‘Yes’ to giving the gift of life.

“This collaboration is a significant step towards driving positive change and saving more lives through collective action and innovation.”

Attendees gained insights into effective strategies and best practices that have contributed to significant growth and improved patient outcomes, while also addressing barriers to transplant program growth and exploring potential solutions.

According to United Network for Organ Sharing, there are over 100,000 Americans — nearly 4,000 of whom live in New Jersey — waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Just one organ and tissue donor can save eight lives and enhance the lives of over 75 others.

The opportunity to give the gift of life is extremely rare — not everyone who registers as a donor is able to donate after they pass away. In fact, only 3 in 1,000 people pass in a way that allows for deceased organ donation.

In 2023, the OPTN created the Expeditious Task Force to develop pathways to increase the number of successful transplants and improve organ allocation efficiency. The task force has set a bold aim of increasing the number of deceased donor transplants from 39,680 in 2023 to 60,000 in 2026.