From 1998 to 2018, LifeLink of Georgia's annual donor recoveries increased from 41 to 118.
Since developing its Multicultural Donation Education Program (MDEP) in 1994, LifeLink of Georgia has nearly tripled African-American donors.
While African Americans are 13.4 percent of the U.S. population*, they remain disproportionately represented on the current wait list (28.6 percent according to the most recent OPTN data).
African Americans are at increased risk for high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, all of which can lead to organ failure. They are also more likely to be highly sensitized, which can mean a compatible organ may take longer to receive.
Because compatible blood types and tissue markers are more likely to be found among members of the same ethnicity, increasing organ donation in minority groups is crucial to increasing transplants.
Through its focused quality improvement and education initiatives, LifeLink of Georgia has increased donor registration in the African-American communities across Georgia. This has led to a sustained increase in donor recoveries, and means more lifesaving organs can get to the patients who need them.
Read about Bobby Howard, Director of Multicultural Donation Education at LifeLink, building trust in the community.
New policies were predicted to increase equity through broader sharing.
Data show transplants for four major ethnic groups rebounded after initial decline, Hispanics had steepest decline and smallest rebound.
Data shows that the proportion of en bloc transplants to low EPTS patients more than doubled after implementation.