APRIL 2008
 
THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH

Leaping Ahead. . .
 

It is fitting that during this Leap Year, MTF leaps to a new format for Tx Files. Today’s issue premiers online. We’ve changed the format to provide you with more frequent and timely news. Going forward, we’ll email you Tx Files bi-monthly. We hope this revised format makes reading and communicating the news more convenient for you.

MTF was honored to host “Blazing New Trails: A Conference on Tissue Consent and Conversion” in Kansas City February 27-28, thanks to the suggestions and guidance provided us by our Recovery Partners during the past couple of years.

Our Recovery Partners wanted to focus more on consent and conversion rather than participate in a national tissue collaborative, and the uniformly positive feedback from the conference has resulted in several new objectives for MTF.

Additionally, with the help of key managers from several MTF Recovery Partners, MTF identified two broad priorities for change for 2008: systems processes and communication. This initial feedback came from eleven Recovery Partner chief operations officers at a meeting in December, 2007. From these broad priorities, the MTF senior management team developed three challenges, each with subsequent action items and specific deadlines. These challenges are:

1. To simplify the process of donor screening while minimizing negative impact on safety and financial concerns;

2. To provide user-friendly, timely technology solutions for the exchange of information between and within organizations;

3. To provide proactive, ongoing communications between MTF’s Sales and Marketing and Finance Divisions and MTF’s Recovery Partners.

We are committed to taking our partners concerns seriously and to making needed improvements in systems and communications. To that end, we’ll provide updates on our process to all of our Recovery Partners on a quarterly basis.

As we move forward, we remain committed to our core mission and goals. By collaborating with surgeons, researchers, our Recovery Partners and our generous donor families, we can make a difference in our world through tissue donation and transplantation.

We welcome your feedback and story ideas for future issues. Please send your thoughts and suggestions to Melinda_Lockard@mtf.org.

Thank you for your support. Bruce Stroever
President and CEO, MTF



  Skin for Burns Program Continues to Grow at MTF  

The MTF Costa Mesa facility plays a unique role within MTF. The facility provides Skin for Burns to those in need across the country, and last year, over 1,850 square feet of split thickness skin was distributed, making MTF one of the largest providers of skin for the treatment of burns in the U.S.

Skin used to treat burn patients is life-saving tissue that helps stabilize critically ill patients, the most severe of which will require multiple surgeries. MTF’s largest recipient of Skin for Burns is Doctor’s Hospital in Augusta, Georgia, home to the 59-bed Joseph M. Still Burn Center, a

regional burn center servicing a regional burn center servicing six states in the Southeast. The Center treats over 2,000 burn victims annually, amounting to 7% of the nation’s burn victims. Twenty of those victims came from the recent tragic Imperial Sugar Company plant explosion. They were airlifted to Doctor’s Hospital for treatment. Currently 11 patients remain there in critical condition.

“We’re pleased that through our focused efforts on Skin for Burns, we are now a top provider of this life-saving allograft, said Michael Kawas, President of MTF Dermal Division. “MTF’s mission and core values dictate that the need for skin to treat burn victims is always a priority.

One never knows when a tragedy will happen, so we remain committed and prepared to help whenever incidents such as the Imperial Sugar explosion in Georgia occur.” In addition to providing Skin for Burns, MTF also provides acellular dermal grafts for use in a variety of surgical procedures.

Watch for more news about acellular grafts in the next issue of Tx Files.


 

 
  16 Year-Old Heals Through the Gift of Skin  

On June 24, 2006, when he was 16, Richard Pawling and his sister were riding their All Terrain Vehicles (ATV). Suddenly, they collided. “I don’t even remember what happened. All I know is that somehow we crashed, and my gas tank exploded,” said Richard.

Although his sister was also burned, she did not need skin grafts. Richard was burned over approximately 65% of his body with third degree burns. He was in the Kansas University Medical Center Burn Unit for 95 days and required 26 surgeries using allograft and autograft skin grafts to heal. His doctors at the KU Med Center explained the importance of his skin grafts. “Very

early in my healing process I received donated skin. My doctor told me what it was and where it came from. I’m very grateful for it.”

Today, Richard is a high school senior, and well on his way to recovery. “I’ve learned from this ordeal. Donation is a very good thing, and tissue is very much needed for patients like me.”

 

 
  It Takes Teamwork: Meet Duckens FanFan,
MTF Employee Recognition Award Winner

Duckens FanFan, from MTF’s Research & Development Department, received the MTF Employee Recognition Award for the fourth quarter of 2007. Nominated by his colleagues for his dedication to MTF’s mission, he said, “I like the ability to see a project start from scratch, all the way through the R&D phase. I love the fact that I can see progress.” Born in Haiti, Duckens came to the U.S. in 1997. “It was quite an adjustment. I didn’t know any English when I moved here.”

Duckens’ responsibilities include:

  • Working on new or improved tissue forms.
  • Maintaining the labs by doing monthly materials inventories, ordering supplies and maintaining a supply inventory database.
  • Preparing tissue samples for various R&D studies.
  • Helping with an osteoinductivity study being conducted on behalf of MTF by the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

He also likes the fact that every day, he gets to help people. “When people ask me what we do here, I tell them we help to change people’s lives. Then I give them examples of what we do. I feel good about the work I do.” Duckens is currently working on his Masters in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Farleigh Dickinson University. He also has three children ages five, three and two. In his “spare” time, he likes to play soccer and pool.


 

 
  Gunderson Joins MTF Board of Directors  

Susan Gunderson, Chief Executive Officer of LifeSource, the Upper Midwest Organ Procurement Organization, Inc, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF).

LifeSource is the federally designated organ procurement organization for Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and portions of western Wisconsin, as well as an AATB accredited tissue recovery agency.

Ms. Gunderson is a past president of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and has served as Treasurer and Board Director for the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). In 2001 Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy G. Thompson, appointed her to the Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation.
She has also served on numerous other boards of national and state

organizations including the Alliance for Organ Donation and Transplantation, the Minnesota Medical Foundation, the Gift of Life Institute Advisory Council and the Memorial Blood Centers.

The author of numerous published abstracts and articles advancing the collaboration, planning and practices of organ donation, Ms. Gunderson worked as an administrator at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota before joining LifeSource.

As an MTF Board Director, Ms. Gunderson joins twelve other board members who help evaluate operations and oversee the Foundation’s research and financial management while advancing the science of transplantation.

“We are honored to have someone of Susan Gunderson’s stature join the Board of Directors,” said MTF President and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Stroever. “Board membership demands critical teamwork and leadership skills, especially in times of challenge. Susan’s integrity, extensive background and experience will be a tremendous asset in reaching our goals.”