STONY BROOK, NY, June 25, 2020 – Three years after joining the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN) Ethics Committee for the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), Andrew Flescher, PhD, Core Faculty, Program in Public Health; Professor of Family, Population, and Preventive Medicine; Professor of English at Stony Brook University, has been selected to serve as Vice Chair of the OPTN Ethics Committee. UNOS is a non-profit organization that manages the nation’s organ transplant system under contract with the federal government.
As Vice Chair, Dr. Flescher will serve a three year term beginning July 1, 2020. Once completed he advances into the role of Chair of the ethics committee and will serve another three year term. In his new role, Dr. Flescher will still be an active member of the ethics committee plus sit on the Policy Oversight Committee, which guides Organ Procurement and Transplant Network policy development. The Ethics Committee advises the OPTN Board of Directors and the Board’s governance committees in the development, prioritization, and implementation of projects intended to further goals in the OPTN strategic plan.
“I am delighted to continue this important work, especially in light of my involvement with Stony Brook University Hospital as a Living Donor Advocate for the last several years,” said Dr. Flescher. “It is just that proverbial cause in which I really believe and I am honored to continue to serve on the Ethics Committee.”
The OPTN Ethics committee guides national policies and practices related to organ donation, procurement, distribution, allocation, and transplantation so they are consistent with ethical principles. The Committee makes recommendations to the Board of Directors for changing, creating, or eliminating policies if warranted by ethical concerns.
Dr. Flescher’s election is a testament to his years of commitment to this mission, serving on Stony Brook’s Hospital Ethics Committee and Organ Donor Council, which guide health care providers, their patients and their family and friends through the complexities of medical care and procedures. He is also a member of the core faculty at Stony Brook in the program in Public Health, and specializes in organ transplantation policy, health care reform, gun legislation reform, and medical humanities.
As a bioethicist, Dr. Flescher is an expert in the areas of organ donation and the delivery of medical and health care services and related policies. He is a regular plenary speaker at the NATCO annual conference for transplantation professionals across the United States, and has been invited to venues internationally as a speaker and to participate in conversations about moving a country’s inhabitants in end stage renal failure from a system entirely reliant on dialysis to one also reliant on living donation.