We Bend, Not Break

Colleagues and Friends,

First, I’d like to wish those of you celebrating the holiday a very happy Lunar New Year.

As I reflected on how ASTCT has started 2022, I couldn’t help but think of this quote from Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu: “A tree that is unbending is easily broken.”

This quote really embodies a lot of what we have navigated in the first few weeks of this year: from rescheduling Tandem Meetings to April to our quick responsiveness to adjusting our strategic planning process so our ASTCT Board of Directors can safely gather.

In the last month, we’ve shown our ability to adapt, be responsive and bend. In turn, we’ve become stronger. Here are just some of the new opportunities we’ve seized thanks to our flexibility:

  • By adjusting our Tandem Meeting dates, even more members have expressed their support for the adjustment and will now be able to attend in person.
  • Our Titans of Transplant podcast series launched last month with our very first episode, an interview with Dr. Mary Horowitz. The idea for this special series was generated by our Content Committee and brought to life thanks to their quick coordination and resourcefulness.
  • By adjusting our Joint ASTCT-EBMT Basic and Translational Scientific Retreat dates to May 25-27, 2022, we were able to source even more abstracts to feature at this educational event.
  • Our 2022-2023 Board of Directors will officially start their terms at Tandem Meetings in April, in order to ensure a smooth and thoughtful transition for our leadership.

And how’s this for opportunity? In January, the White House COVID-19 Response Team reached out to ASTCT regarding their ongoing efforts to engage our members and patient community on COVID-19 booster vaccinations, including eligibility of immunocompromised individuals for up to a fourth dose.

This led to a meeting with the Response Team – a clear indication that our advocacy efforts are making an impact on national policy and guidelines, and an important step in prioritizing transplantation patients in the fight against COVID-19. A special thanks to the ASTCT’s Government Relations Committee for their expertise and guidance in our advocacy efforts.

It’s amazing what we’ve already accomplished. Thank you to each and every one of you for everything you do to advance the science of transplantation and cellular therapy, patient care, and our society. It’s because of you that we’ve managed to bend with any of the changes that have come our way.

Here’s to more achievements ahead.

Stella Davies, MBBS, PhD

Tags: astct, transplantation, Cellular therapy, President, EBMT, Science, COVID19, board of directors, tandem meetings, Achievements, break, bend, Tandem22, Scientific Retreat, basic and translational, holiday, lunar new year

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