The Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) is launching a new advocacy plan to help save more lives. Spearheaded by AOPO’s new Director of Governmental Affairs Mark Cribben, the plan will help AOPO grow its footprint on Capitol Hill by inviting our OPO members and industry partners to team up with us and make our voices heard.

Every day thousands of OPO team members go to work with one goal in mind, to save and enhance lives. Through their dedication and commitment, thousands of lives are saved and transformed. Unfortunately, policymakers have not heard their voices, and it is time for that to change. We want legislators to call the true experts for input on policy and legislative changes that will impact organ donation. This only happens when we get engaged and speak up.

Grass-Tops Key Contact Program
The secret to advocacy success is to become a trusted advisor to your legislators in Congress. A new “Key Contact” program is being built to enlist OPO members who already have relationships with their legislators in our advocacy efforts. When our Key Contacts reach out, their member of Congress takes their call and values their insight. We will be helping OPOs build those more personal relationships.

Grass-Roots Action Network
Creating a Grass-Roots Network is another important part of the AOPO advocacy plan. We are asking our OPO team members to volunteer to be part of this network, where they will receive action alerts from AOPO asking them to reach out to their members of Congress on an important issue. Our goal is to have an OPO assigned to every member of Congress.

Advocacy Resources
We realize that not everyone has had the opportunity for this kind of relationship building, so we are providing resources to train our advocates. We will be holding regular town halls to teach OPO team members how to lobby, how to engage with their legislators to discuss issues of importance to the OPO community. Our next Town Hall is Wednesday, December 2nd from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

In the spring, AOPO will be setting up fly-ins for designated OPO members. This involves OPO leaders and team members meeting with their Congressional representatives, either in-person or virtually, to educate them on issues of concern to the OPO community.

Be Part of the Solution
This entire effort starts with you. Many voices are louder than one. Now is the time to step into the arena and join your colleagues in the battle to tell the OPO story. If you are interested in becoming involved or have questions, please contact Mark Cribben.

As always, I look for your feedback here and hope you will take the opportunity to engage with me. Together we are leading the way forward to save more lives.

Steve Miller, CEO, AOPO