H.H.S. Secretary Appoints Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank Director

09/07/01    Portland, Ore.

Newly expanded advisory committee charged with increasing organ donation, reviewing organ allocation policies

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (D.H.H.S.) Secretary Tommy Thompson has appointed Mike Seely to serve a four-year term on Thompson's Advisory Committee on Organ Transplantation. Seely, executive director of the Pacific Northwest Transplant Bank (PNTB) based at Oregon Health & Science University, is one of two new members from the Pacific Northwest invited to serve on this committee.

In addition to expanding the committee's membership from 20 to 41 members, Secretary Thompson has amended the committee's charter and expanded its scope of responsibilities to include advising him on ways to increase organ donation nationwide and reviewing organ allocation policies developed by the nation's transplant network, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). The OPTN is administered by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), a private, nonprofit, charitable organization charged with maintaining the nation's organ transplant waiting list under contract with the Health Resources and Services Administration, D.H.H.S.

"On average 16 people die each day waiting for a transplant in the United States. Secretary Thompson's initiative to enhance national policies and increase donation is important and will save lives," said Seely. "The opportunity to serve and represent the Pacific Northwest on this committee is a great honor."

Seely brings more than 15 years of organ donation and transplant expertise to his new role. As executive director of the PNTB for the past 10 years, he has overseen the procurement, preservation and distribution of donated organs in Oregon, southwest Washington and western Idaho. PNTB, one of 59, nonprofit, federally designated procurement agencies in the United States, is tied to the national transplant network, OPTN, providing donated organs to local, regional and national transplant programs. Professional staff at PNTB coordinate clinical donation services for hospitals and are responsible for educating health professionals about the donation process.

In addition to managing the PNTB, Seely is an active member of numerous professional organizations. He is immediate past-president of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and has served on various AOPO committees. He was awarded the AOPO's Sandoz Excellence in Management Award in 1996. He also is the Region 6 Councillor and a board member of UNOS, and has served in various leadership capacities for the organization since first being elected to its Ethics Committee in 1991. He also is an active board member of the LifeCenter N.W. Donor Network, based in Bellevue, Wash., and the Oregon Donor Program based in Portland, Ore.

Seely's interests include organizational development, and he has been involved in social services and critical care nursing in the past. He earned his master of science degree in management from Antioch University, Seattle, Wash., a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pa., and a bachelor of arts in religion from Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa.