Donate Life Pennsylvania, a partnership of the state’s two organ procurement organizations, today announced details of its 2012 organ donor campaign – a targeted effort to increase the number of registered donors in the state and across the nation. The announcement was made on the eve of National Organ Donor Day, February 14.
A component of the national effort led by Donate Life America, the overall goal of the campaign is to add 20 million new registered organ donors nationwide in 2012. Pennsylvania is working to add 150,000 new donors as a part of this outreach. Currently, there are 8,000 people in Pennsylvania waiting for an organ transplant yet only 45-percent of the state’s licensed drivers have registered as donors. Donate Life-PA is working to increase that designation rate to 48-percent.
“Not long ago, Pennsylvania was a national leader in organ donation. In fact, organ donor laws passed in Harrisburg nearly 20 years ago became the model for other states,” said Howard Nathan, President & CEO of the Gift of Life Donor Program. “But today, we sit in the middle of the pack. While we may be higher than the national average, it’s not by much. In states like Alaska and Montana, nearly eight in 10 citizens are registered donors. In Pennsylvania, that number is less than five in 10. We can and must do better in order to save lives now.”
The Donate Life-PA 2012 organ donor campaign is multi-faceted, and includes:
- Refreshed billboards, transit and online advertising;
- A new focus on social media, including an engaging Facebook community and fresh content to educate and inform Pennsylvanians about organ donation;
- An expanded partnership with PennDOT to provide additional information to customers about organ donation while they obtain their state driver’s license;
- Growth of affinity partnerships with statewide organizations who will become ambassadors for organ donation; and
- A renewed focus on multicultural communities that have the greatest need for organ donors.
The campaign will emphasize the online donor registry, accessed through DonateLife-PA.org, that allows Pennsylvanians to register to become organ donors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – right from the comfort of their own homes.
Education plays a critical role in organ and tissue donation. A recent statewide survey of Pennsylvanians by The Melior Group in Philadelphia found that 25-percent of registered drivers who are not currently organ donors believe if they were ever seriously injured, doctors would not try to save their life – and have not become a donor for that reason.
“Too many Pennsylvanians still do not understand how organ donation works in our state,” added Susan Stuart, President & CEO of the Center for Organ Recovery & Education. “This campaign will not only emphasize education and awareness, but also provide social forums to allow for dialogue between citizens and the organ donor procurement agencies so that any questions or concerns about organ donation can be addressed.”