AOPO Report: OPOs Quickly Advancing Towards Goal of 50,000 Annual Organ Transplants in 2026

Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 9:20 AM EST

Report demonstrates initiative of national organ donation community resulted in nearly 40,000 organs transplanted from deceased donors in 2022

MCLEAN, Va., Feb. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) released a report demonstrating significant progress towards its goal to achieve 50,000 annual organ transplants in 2026. AOPO set the goal in February 2021 to advance the work of organ procurement organizations (OPOs), the federally designated nonprofits responsible for facilitating the organ donation process. The initiative aims to expand collaboration among stakeholders, create a more equitable system, maximize organ utilization, and drive innovation and research.

(PRNewsfoto/Association of Organ Procurement Organizations)
(PRNewsfoto/Association of Organ Procurement Organizations)(PRNewswire)

"AOPO and its OPO community are dedicated and steadfast in our mission to save more lives through organ donation and transplantation year after year," said Barry Massa, AOPO President and Executive Director of LifeCenter Organ Donor Network. "We have witnessed continued growth since the start of this comprehensive initiative to increase donation and transplantation rates across the nation."

AOPO's 50,000 goal complements and exceeds a goal set by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services in 2020 to reach 41,000 annual transplants by the end of 2026. AOPO is proud that its members reached 39,860 annual organs transplanted in 2022, nearly achieving the CMS standard five years in advance. Current projections show that OPOs are on a path to recover and successfully transplant 50,000 organs annually in 2026.

The AOPO 50,000 Report found that collaborative efforts have contributed to the upward trend in transplantation. The report provides an overview of the ongoing, coordinated efforts led by AOPO to improve system-wide effectiveness. These initiatives greatly impact the number of lives saved each year.

  • Expand Collaboration: AOPO Meetings, National Partners, HRSA DoNation Campaign, OPO IMPACT Improvement Program, Advocacy Outreach
  • Reduce Health Inequities: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Assessment Tool, National Organ, Eye, and Tissue Multicultural Action Group (NMAG), Historically Black College & University (HBCU) Medical School Programs
  • Maximize Organ Utilization: CMS End-Stage Renal Disease Treatment Choices Learning Collaborative (ETCLC), NASEM Report
  • Drive Research & Innovation: AOPO Foundation, Industry Partners, APOLLO Research

View the AOPO 50K Report to learn more.

While donation and transplantation are both increasing, one of the biggest challenges outlined in the report to reaching the 50,000-transplant goal is the non-utilization of available organs. The number of recovered organs left unused continued to rise in 2022, with 26% of the kidneys recovered by OPOs not placed in patients by transplant programs. This accounts for thousands of organs wasted each year that could have potentially been transplanted into someone desperately waiting for a lifesaving organ.

The non-utilization issue is also highlighted in a 2022 report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), which conducted a holistic review of the system requested by Congress and sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Moving forward, AOPO has incorporated the recommendations of NASEM into its 50,000 initiative.

"For the organ donation and transplantation system to see true success, OPOs, donor hospitals, transplant programs, federal entities, and other stakeholders must work together toward this common goal," says Steve Miller, AOPO CEO. "We will continue to challenge our members, as well as our partners, to support and implement strategies that make the goal of 50,000 organ transplants annually achievable, saving more lives each year through the gift of life".

About the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO)

The Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) is the not-for-profit trade association leading the nation's organ donation community to save and improve lives through organ, eye, and tissue donation. Founded in 1984, AOPO advances organ donation and transplantation by driving continual improvement of the donation process, collaborating with stakeholders, and sharing successful practices with their 48 member OPOs. The vision of AOPO is to pursue the day when every donation opportunity results in lives saved. For more information, please visit

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SOURCE Association of Organ Procurement Organizations

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