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LifeLink of Florida Volunteer, Willie Oler, Ed.D., Recently Elected to OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors

RICHMOND, Va. - (March 17, 2016) – The membership of United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) recently elected Willie J. Oler, Ed.D., of Sarasota, Fla., to its board of directors. UNOS operates the national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) under federal contract, and the UNOS board of directors also functions as the OPTN board.

Dr. Oler received a heart−liver transplant in 2010. “I want to serve on the OPTN/UNOS board of directors in order to expand my involvement and deepen my knowledge of transplantation policy and therapy,” he said. “As an active volunteer with LifeLink here in Florida, I support its mission at various events in the Tampa Bay-Sarasota-Fort Myers area. I believe I can make an even greater contribution through service on the board.”

Approximately one-third of the members of the OPTN/UNOS board have personal experience with organ donation and/or transplantation. They include transplant recipients, family members of a deceased donor and prior living donors. All board members are volunteers and are not compensated beyond travel and lodging expenses for meetings. 

Dr. Oler is owner of The Oler Group, a higher-education management firm in Sarasota. A Vietnam veteran, he retired from the U.S. Marine Corps as a lieutenant colonel.

He has served on a variety of boards, including the citizens’ advisory committees of both the (Florida) Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Sarasota Public Transportation Task Force. He chaired the summer youth leadership council for the District of Columbia. He also has co-chaired the advisory board and the program review board of National Louis University in McLean, Va.

He earned his doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He holds two master’s degrees—in strategic management from Salve Regina University and in national policy and strategic studies from the Naval War College, both of which are in Newport, R.I. He also is certified to administer the Myers- Briggs Type Indicator assessment.

About UNOS and the OPTN:

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) serves as the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) by contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Division of Transplantation. The OPTN brings together medical professionals, transplant recipients and donor families to develop national organ transplantation policy.