Innovations in Organ Donation and Transplantation

Whether on the football field or in a conference room, Play it Forward Pittsburgh is engaging a broad community of individuals working to save lives through organ donation. In October 2017, Play It Forward Pittsburgh participated in a high-level roundtable discussion in Washington, D.C as part of the Future of Health Summit organized by the Milken Institute Center for Strategic Philanthropy. The roundtable engaged experts on the current state of organ donation and transplantation in the United States and how it may be possible to fix existing problems within it. Cindy Citrone, the founder of Play It Forward Pittsburgh, gave a comprehensive overview of how the city is coming together to increase organ donor registration, fund lifesaving research, and change existing policies around organ donation and transplantation. Organizations represented in the Innovations in Organ Donation and Transplantation session included:

33 Foundation


Former White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation

Arnold Foundation

Temple University

American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

University of Pennsylvania

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

New York University

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

American Society of Nephrology

The Chauncey F. Lufkin III Foundation

Bipartisan Policy Center



Key Takeaways from this session:
  • The low organ donation rate in America is a fixable problem. Even so, it still exists.
  • Many of the obstacles are systemic—we must fix both practice and policy to overcome them.
  • It will take cooperation and buy-in across industries – academia, governmental institutions, hospitals, non-profits, and corporations – to identify both opportunities and challenges to address the current state of organ donation in America.
  • Transplants from living and deceased organ donors will play a role in solving the issue.

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