Transplant Growth Collaboration is Coming to New Jersey on May 31

Transplant Centers and Hospitals from Throughout the U.S. Come Together to Share Ideas and Best Practices to Save More Lives Through Organ Donation and Transplantation

(Red Bank, NJ) – For the first time ever, New Jersey will host a Transplant Growth Collaboration meeting that will bring together C-suite and senior transplant program and hospital leaders from throughout the nation to discuss effective practices to help supercharge the rate of successful transplantations and save more lives. Participants will include all six New Jersey transplant centers and eight of New York’s transplant centers. Event details are as follows:

What: Transplant Growth Collaboration

When: Friday, May 31, 2024, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Where: Oyster Point Hotel, 146 Bodman Place, Red Bank, NJ 07701

Key Attendees:

Dianne LaPointe Rudow, ANP-BC, DNP, FAAN (Board President, OPTN)

Carolyn M. Welsh, MS (President and CEO, NJ Sharing Network)

Mark Sparta, FACHE (President, Hackensack University Medical Center)

Dr. Michael Goldstein (Director of Abdominal Transplant, Hackensack University Medical Center)

Kenneth W. Kizer, MD, MPH (Health System Transformation Expert)

Jennifer Pavone McBride, MS, RN, AGACNP-BC (NYU Langone Health)

Alex Reyentovich, MD (NYU Langone Health)

Derek Ginos (Senior Director of Transplant, Intermountain Health Liver Transplant Program in Salt Lake City, UT)

Dr. Jean Botha (Program and Surgical Director of Abdominal Transplant, Intermountain Health Liver Transplant Program)

J. Kevin Cmunt (OPTN Expeditious Task Force)

Dennis Wagner (OPTN Expeditious Task Force)

Chris Zinner (Accenture Federal Service’s Strategy & Consulting Practice)

Endorsed by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) and hosted by NJ Sharing Network, this leadership working session will serve as a vital platform for leaders in the organ transplant community to share insights, overcome challenges, and work towards achieving the shared goal of significantly increasing the number of deceased donor organ transplants.

“We believe this event and future Transplant Growth Collaborations have the potential to revolutionize the way transplants are conducted,” said Carolyn M. Welsh, MS, President and CEO, NJ Sharing Network. “We take pride in hosting this event in New Jersey as we have experienced five consecutive years of organ donation growth thanks to our healthcare partners and the generosity of those in the Garden State who say ‘YES’ to giving the gift of life. This event is an opportunity to drive positive change and save more lives through collective action and innovation.”

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. OPTN Board President Dianne LaPointe Rudow, ANP-BC, DNP, FAAN, will be speaking at the event and has previously noted that reaching this goal will require the concentrated efforts of transplant programs across the country.

Transplant Growth Collaboration attendees will have the opportunity to learn from regional and national examples of successful transplant programs. Attendees will gain insights into effective strategies and best practices that have led to significant growth and improved patient outcomes, including the kidney transplant program at Hackensack University Medical Center. Hackensack University Medical Center leads the nation in kidney transplant growth, and they do so with excellent patient outcomes. The meeting will also facilitate discussions on identifying barriers to transplant program growth and exploring potential solutions.

According to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), there are over 100,000 Americans - nearly 4,000 of whom live in New Jersey - waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. Just one organ and tissue donor can save 8 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. This underscores the pressing need for more registered donors. To learn more, get involved, and join the National Donate Life Registry as an organ and tissue donor, visit

About the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN)

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) is a unique public-private partnership that links all professionals involved in the U.S. donation and transplantation system. Also crucial to the system are individuals who sign organ donor cards, people who comment on policy proposals and countless volunteers who support donation and transplantation, among many others. A driving force of the OPTN is to improve the U.S. system so that more lifesaving organs are available for transplant. Patient safety is at the forefront of activities at transplant hospitals, organ procurement organizations (OPOs) and labs. The OPTN acts through its Board of Directors and committees, who bring a wealth of commitment and technical knowledge to guide us. Committees address issues of concern in the transplant community. The board establishes and maintains transplant policies (operational rules) and bylaws (membership requirements) that govern the OPTN.

About NJ Sharing Network (NJSN)

NJ Sharing Network, headquartered in New Providence, NJ, is the federally designated non-profit organization focused on saving and enhancing lives through the recovery of donated organs and tissue in the Garden State. NJSN partners with an extensive network of 54 local hospitals to provide hope for the nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents currently waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, and it is part of the national recovery system for the over 100,000 people on the national transplant waiting list. For five consecutive years, NJSN has reported organ donation records, and 3.8 million New Jerseyans are registered as organ and tissue donors, according to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC). Among the top performing organ procurement organizations in the nation, NJSN has been recognized by NJBIZ for six consecutive years as one of the state’s ‘Best Places to Work.’ To learn more, get involved, and join the National Donate Life Registry as an organ and tissue donor, visit

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