ASN Policy Expert and HIV Patient Advocate Available for Comment on Anticipated Passage of Hope ACT Today

Expert Pitch

Rachel N. Meyer, ASN Manager for Policy and Government Affairs, and HIV patient advocate Shamey Cramer are available for comment on the anticipated passage of the HOPE Act today

Rachel Nell Meyer is the Manager of Policy and Government Affairs at the American Society of Nephrology and is responsible for the society’s federal congressional and regulatory advocacy efforts. Prior to joining ASN, she conducted healthcare research as an Analyst at the Advisory Board Company in Washington, DC, and worked for Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) in his district office. Rachel has a degree in Global Health and Development from the Colorado College.

She is the co-author of numerous articles, including “Comparing Mandated Health Care Reforms: The Affordable Care Act, Accountable Care Organizations, and the Medicare ESRD Program”; “Considering an Integrated Nephrology Care Delivery Model: Six Principles for Quality”; “Lessons from Haiti on Disaster Relief”; and “The Future Nephrology Workforce: Will There Be One?”

Shamey Cramer became actively involved with the effort that led to the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act - the HOPE Act - in April 2011. His passion for this work derives from his cousin who is the same age, is HIV-negative, and currently on the wait list to receive a simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplant due to the ravages of diabetes.

Shamey has published articles, Letters to the Editor, and speaks publicly about the need to amend the 1984 National Organ Transplantation Act so doctors and medical research facilities can access organs from deceased HIV-positive individuals for use in others with HIV in need of transplants.

This past Summer, Shamey served as a volunteer advocate for the HOPE Act in Washington D.C. Along with representatives from The American Society of Nephrology, the American Society of Transplant Surgeons and the HIV Medicine Association, Shamey interacted with more than four dozen Congressional offices - including that of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) - and secured twelve of the fifty-three co-sponsors for H.R. 698, the House version of the HOPE Act.

He produced a five-minute documentary film about the HOPE Team and a commercial spot urging Americans to contact their representatives, asking them to support the HOPE Act.

In 1982, he was a founder of Team Los Angeles that competed at the inaugural Gay Games, a quadrennial event that uses sport to address the issues of homophobia, sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination around the world. He currently serves on the Federation of Gay Games Board of Directors.

He was Route Designer and cyclist for the inaugural 1994 California AIDS Ride, an annual event now known as LifeCycles that has raised over $62 million for HIV/AIDS.

Shamey stopped pursuing his education when he was diagnosed HIV-positive in 1985, and told he had less than three years to live. He returned to his studies in 2009, and received his A.A. degree cum laude from Los Angeles City College. He is pursuing his B.A. in Film & Television Production at Woodbury University in Burbank.

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