ATLANTA (April 5, 2018) – René Romero, M.D., Chief of Solid Organ Transplant Services at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, has been elected to the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN)/ United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) board of directors. Dr. Romero will serve a two-year term, effective July 2018.
UNOS serves as the OPTN by contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Division of Transplantation. The OPTN brings together medical professionals, transplant recipients and donor families to develop national organ transplantation policy.
The OPTN/UNOS board of directors oversees, establishes and maintains transplant policies and bylaws to provide equitable organ allocation to patients registered on the national waiting list, ensure quality standards for membership, and establish data submission requirements.
Since 1999, Dr. Romero has served as the Medical Director of the Pediatric Liver Transplant Program and Clinical Director of Pediatric Hepatology at Children’s, as well as a Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Emory University School of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Romero is the program director for the Pediatric Transplant Hepatology Fellowship Program.
“Dr. Romero is a natural leader and continues to guide our nationally recognized pediatric kidney, liver and heart transplant programs with expertise,” said Dr. Patrick Frias, Chief Operating Officer at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “He is beloved by our staff, patients and families, and we’re all incredibly proud of this most recent accomplishment. His OPTN/UNOS appointment is a testament to his extensive background in, and commitment to, the pediatric transplant field.”
Dr. Romero received his M.D. from the University of Florida and completed a pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition clinical and research fellowship at Harvard Medical School/Children’s Hospital of Boston. He has served in multiple roles with national and international committees, including the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. Most recently Dr. Romero served on the Medical Professional and Standards Committee (MPSC) of UNOS. The MPSC is charged with ensuring that OPTN/UNOS member clinical transplant centers, independent organ procurement agencies, independent tissue typing laboratories, and non-institutional members meet and remain in compliance with OPTN/UNOS Criteria for Institutional Membership.
Children’s is home to one of the leading pediatric solid organ transplant centers in the U.S., offering services for liver, heart and kidney transplant. In 2017, Children’s performed a total of 62 solid organ transplants and, according to UNOS data, ranked fourth in the nation for pediatric transplant volume, all under the leadership of Dr. Romero as Chief of Solid Organ Transplant.