Efforts in California, Utah Promote Minority Organ Donations
Two newspapers recently published articles related to minority-targeted organ donation programs. Summaries appear below.
- California: Kaiser Permanente on Monday announced that it has donated $3 million to Donate Life California, an organ and tissue donation registry, for a statewide campaign that seeks to encourage Hispanics, Asians and blacks to donate organs, the Oakland Tribune reports. Kaiser made the donation as part of a settlement with California over its kidney transplant program, which closed in San Francisco in May 2006 after a federal investigation found improper oversight. About two-thirds of the 20,000 people in the state waiting for an organ donation are minorities, according to the Tribune. "This gift has allowed us to reach out to the minority community in an unprecedented way," Cindy Ehnes -- director of the Department of Managed Health Care, which oversees HMOs in the state -- said (Vesely, Oakland Tribune, 4/24). Please note: The Kaiser Family Foundation is not associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries.
- Utah: Outreach efforts by the Intermountain Donor Services to encourage Hispanics to donate organs have been effective in increasing Hispanic donor registration, the Deseret Morning News reports. Rocio Mejia, a Hispanic outreach coordinator at IDS, said that dispelling common myths about organ donation is a large part of raising awareness among the Hispanic community. Mexican Consul Salvador Jimenez recently registered as an organ donor in an effort to raise awareness. Mejia said, "If the Mexican community can see the Mexican consul supporting organ donation, it will make a big impact" (Bulkeley, Deseret Morning News, 4/22).
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