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NTAF - Leading the way in support of transplant patients

Published October 01. 2010 05:00PM

The National Transplant Assistance Fund (NTAF) is the premiere service organization assisting patients and their families in fundraising for uninsured medical expenses related to transplantation or catastrophic injury such as spinal cord or traumatic brain injuries. With more than 26-years of dedicated service, the NTAF deals with the financial challenges faced by patients and their families and offer help in alleviating the financial burden.

The NTAF mission is to help transplant and catastrophic injury patients and their families afford critical but uninsured medically related expenses through fundraising guidance and patient support, as well as financial and other resources.

According to the group's website, the NTAF Guiding Principles are:

• Compassion: The NTAF treats everyone with respect, dignity and understanding. We are dependable and responsive in all of our interactions.

• Empowerment: We offer hope through knowledge, resourcefulness, and creativity, and provide tools to improve our patients' quality of life.

• Trust: We understand that honesty, integrity and accountability are essential to earn the trust of those we serve.

The NTAF has almost three decades of success helping families address financial hardships arising from uninsured medical expenses related to transplantation including solid organ, bone marrow, stem cell or tissue, and catastrophic injury.

Established in 1983 by medical professionals, NTAF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with headquarters in Radnor, Pennsylvania, that provides fundraising guidance to patients, families and communities nationwide, while offering fiscal accountability for funds raised.

The NTAF works to:

• Raise money and administer funds for medical expenses of patients and living donors not covered by insurance;

• Provide network identification, custom appeal letters and fundraising guidance;

• Offer direct financial assistance in the form of $500 and $1,000 challenge grants to eligible patients;

• Provide expertise, information and education about all areas of transplantation and spinal cord injury;

• Raise awareness about the critical need for solid organ, bone marrow, stem cell and tissue donation;

• Provide assurance of fiscal accountability in the collection, management and disbursement of funds raised.

In 26 years, NTAF has helped patients, families and communities nationwide raise $64 million to pay for out-of-pocket expenses related to transplantation and catastrophic injury.

The NTAF's


In 1983, Dr. Jack Kolff and wife, Patricia, B.S.N., created the NHATF (National Heart Assist and Transplant Fund), after Dr. Kolff established the heart transplant program at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, (the first in the Delaware Valley). At that time, heart transplantation was still considered experimental in nature and insurance coverage was not always available for the procedure. Many patients were being denied transplants because they lacked financial means.

The Kolffs had a vision - a vision that all people should be able to receive life-saving organ transplants without regard to their financial situations. Patricia Kolff, the executive director from 1985 through September 2003, said:

"We realized that there was no foundation, corporation or government program able to grant NTAF (then NHATF) the necessary funding for such an undertaking, so we resorted to the unique American belief in 'helping thy neighbor'. We combined the spirit of community involvement and desire to help others with appropriate grassroots fundraising guidance and assurance of fiscal accountability in the collection, management and disbursement of such funds."

In 1995, the NHATF Board approved the inclusion of all solid organs to the patient population served. At that time, the NHATF became National Transplant Assistance Fund (NTAF).

NTAF is the largest financial assistance organization in the United States for transplants, providing almost twice as much assistance in 2008 as the next largest service organization.

In 2000, NTAF expanded its area of service to include individuals with catastrophic injury (spinal cord and traumatic brain) with the introduction of its Catastrophic Injury (CI) Program.

Since 2000, the CI Program has:

• Opened more than 430 fundraising campaigns for individuals who have sustained a catastrophic injury;

• Helped raise more than $13.6 million in community funds for individuals with catastrophic injury;

• Provided information and referrals to more than 890 CI individuals and their families (as of Fiscal Year 2009).

In 2008, NTAF was recognized for its CI Program with an Award of Continuing Excellence from the Inglis Foundation.

The NTAF has helped more than 4,000 patients, their families and communities nationwide raise millions for uninsured medical expenses, saying "Together we are changing lives".

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