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About TRIO


TRIO, Transplant Recipients International Organization, is an independent, not-for-profit, international organization committed to improving the quality of life for: 

  • Transplant candidates  

  • Transplant recipients  

  • Families of transplant candidates and recipients 

  • Families of organ and tissue donors  

Through the TRIO headquarters and a network of chapters, we help our members with: 






TRIO is widely recognized as the leading voice of organ recipients. We represent donors, candidates, recipients, and their families.

We help our members in 4 ways:


We give support to transplant candidates, recipients, donors, and their families. We aim to ease the stresses and issues related to the organ donation process. 


We communicate the concerns and needs of candidates, recipients, their families, and donor families to: 

  • Federal, state, and local governments  

  • The public 


We give transplant candidates, recipients, donors, and their families up-to-date information about: 

  • Organ and tissue donation 

  • Transplantation 

  • Medicines 

  • Social issues 

  • Finances 

  • Government initiatives 


We promote organ and tissue donation as an important social responsibility.  

We develop and support ways to make organs and tissues available for everyone.

Visit these pages to learn more about TRIO and its members: 



Brian Reames got a heart transplant at the Presbyterian University Hospital of Pittsburgh (now the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center [UPMC]). During that time, Brian found little community support for transplant recipients. He thought a new organization could help transplant recipients and their families cope with the challenges they faced. With Brian's vision and leadership, the local support group Transplant Recipients International Organization (TRIO) was founded.  


The Junior League of Pittsburgh and the transplant center at the University of Pittsburgh decided that TRIO could better serve people as an independent organization with local chapters worldwide. To do this, TRIO was turned into incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1987.


TRIO was turned into a not-for-profit organization. 

Early 1990's

TRIO had grown and was hosting annual conferences that attracted members from across the county. By the late 1990s, TRIO had grown to almost 4,000 members with 46 chapters throughout the world.  

To learn more about the founding members and the early days of TRIO, you can read the book “Many Sleepless Nights: The World of Organ Transplantation” by Lee Gutkind. 


TRIO is a smaller organization with active chapters across the United States and Japan. We continue to support TRIO chapters and transplant recipients, donors, candidates and their families around the world.  

We are: 

  • Recognized by the Department of Transplantation (DOT) as the organization that represents transplant candidates, recipients, donors, their families, and health care professionals. 

  • A voting member of the Organ Procurement & Transplantation Network (OPTN)/United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) 

  • Active members of the Washington DC based “Transplant Roundtable”   

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