An Improvement-Focused Approach
The SRTR Visiting Committee
The SRTR Visiting Committee (SVC), formerly known as the SRTR Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), advises SRTR on issues such as analytic methodologies to improve its effectiveness and support the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN); objectives, study designs, and statistical methods for research projects performed by SRTR; and methods used in simulated allocation modeling.
The SVC is composed of 8 to 10 voting members and a smaller number of nonvoting members, including the SRTR Contracting Officer Representative (COR) and an OPTN representative. SRTR may establish subcommittees and/or working groups as necessary. Currently, the SVC has two subcommittees, Simulated Allocation Modeling (SAM) and transplant Program-Specific Reports (PSRs).
The SVC meets quarterly. Each year, two of the four meetings are face-to-face, and one of these is held in the Washington, DC, area; the other two meetings are held by teleconference. In addition, special meetings may be convened, with approval of the SRTR COR.
SRTR Visiting Committee Charter
The purpose of the SRTR Visiting Committee (SVC) is to advise the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) on:
- analytic methodologies to support the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) policy development and evaluation;
- objectives, study designs, and statistical methods for research projects performed by SRTR, including risk-adjusted analyses of organ procurement organization and transplant program performance;
- methods used in simulated allocation models (SAMs);
- new areas of research and innovative advances in analytical methodologies that might improve the effectiveness of SRTR.
The SRTR Contractor shall provide all administrative support necessary for the functions of the SVC and any of its subcommittees and working groups.
The SVC shall have a diverse membership with broad capabilities, where each member brings important and relevant areas of expertise.
- The SVC shall include 8 to 10 voting members with qualifications in the areas of organ procurement, clinical, statistical, and/or epidemiological research related to transplantation, economics, simulation, and analytics for predictive modeling. Clinicians should have training and experience in transplant issues dealing with the kidney/pancreas, liver, and thoracic organs. To the extent possible, representatives from relevant OPTN committees, especially representatives from organ-specific committees, shall be included as members of the SVC.
- The SRTR Contracting Officer Representative (COR) or his/her designee shall serve as an ex-officio, nonvoting member of the SVC and all subcommittees and working groups that may be established. Other federal representatives with relevant expertise may attend meetings and serve SVC as ex-officio members. A representative of the OPTN who is familiar with the data collected by the OPTN shall serve as an ex-officio nonvoting member. Generally, the OPTN Policy Oversight Committee Chair serve as ex-officio members.
- Two Co-Chairs shall be selected by SRTR.
- Co-Chairs shall serve in this role for a standard term of 3 years.
- Co-Chair terms shall be staggered, so that both Co-Chairs do not end their terms in the same year.
- Voting members shall serve for a standard term of 3 years. To achieve continuity of membership, terms shall be staggered such that each year the terms of one-third of the voting members expire.
- Nonvoting members shall have the same rights and privileges as other members, except that they shall not vote on any matter.
- A majority of the voting members present in person, by teleconference, or by video conference shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. A vote of a majority of those present and eligible to vote shall be sufficient to transact any business that might come before the meeting. All vote counts will be recorded and indicated in the minutes. Interim actions of the committee may be taken by vote conducted via fax and/or e-mail.
- SRTR may establish subcommittees and/or working groups as necessary. Such committees or working groups may be permanent or ad hoc groups, depending on the need. SRTR shall provide a statement of purpose for each subcommittee and working group and a list of its members to the COR.
- The continued membership of a voting member is contingent, though not solely based, upon the requirement that the member attend at least 2 of the most recent four full sessions of the SVC. Members who are not in compliance with this requirement are subject to forfeiture of the rights and privileges accorded to them as appointed members of the SVC and may be asked to resign from the committee at the discretion of the SVC Co-Chairs.
Conflicts of Interest
Since the technical expertise required to make informed decisions may best be obtained from those involved in organ procurement and transplantation, it is reasonable to expect that conflicts of interest may arise within the SVC. SRTR shall ensure that the SVC's deliberations do not constitute a conflict of interest for its members. The disclosures are regularly updated and are always available on our website.
- The SVC shall meet at least four times per year, including two face-to-face meetings. At least one meeting per year shall be in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.
- Special meetings of the SVC may be called at any time by HRSA, SRTR, the SVC Co-Chairs, or a majority of the SVC members, with approval of the COR (based on available funds). Special meeting requests shall be submitted in writing to SRTR and should state the requested time, place, and purpose of the meeting.
- Expenses related to attendance by voting SVC members shall be paid by SRTR; however, SVC members shall not receive any other financial compensation for their work.
- SRTR shall provide the COR and the SVC members with a meeting agenda and background materials at least 7 days before each SVC meeting. The meeting is scheduled at least 60 days prior to each meeting.
- An SRTR staff member will take minutes at all meetings. These minutes will be made available to all voting and ex-officio SVC meeting participants within 30 days after each SVC meeting. After review and approval by the SVC, the minutes will be posted on the SRTR website.
- Studies requested by the SVC shall be assigned by SRTR to staff with appropriate training, experience, and credentials in medicine, biostatistics, epidemiology, and programming.
- The SRTR-assigned staff member will serve as the principal investigator for the work. This study PI will be responsible for working with the appropriate SRTR supporting personnel in conducting the study, and will report the results, or at least preliminary results, at the next SVC meeting.
Committee and Subcommittee Rosters
To ensure that the potential for conflicts of interest (COIs) does not exist in deliberations of the SVC and its subcommittees, members must disclose their potential COIs. Disclosures can be viewed here. If topics arise during SVC discussions or activities that raise potential COI concerns for individual members of the SVC, those members should recuse themselves from discussion and voting on those topics.
SRTR Visiting Committee
Susan Gunderson, MHA (Co-Chair)
Ken Newell, MD, PhD (Co-Chair)
Scott Biggins, MD, MAS
Jonathan Chen, MD
Richard N. Formica, Jr., MD
Bethany J. Foster, MD, MSCE
Walter Kremers, PhD
Rachel Patzer, PhD
Eric Engels, MD, MPH (National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health)
S. Joseph Kim, Md, PhD (UNOS/OPTN Data Advisory Committee)
Monica Lin, PhD (SRTR Contracting Officer Representative, HRSA)
Jennifer Milton, MBA (UNOS/OPTN Policy Oversight Committee)
Jonah Odim, MD, PhD (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health)
Darren Stewart, MS (OPTN/UNOS)