National Minority Donor Awareness Week (NMDAW) Turns 20! The Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) Launches Digital Toolkit

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National Minority Donor Awareness Week (NMDAW) Turns 20! The Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) Launches Digital Toolkit 

The number of U.S. multicultural organ donors has more than doubled over the past two decades, giving hope to thousands who are in need of life-saving organ, eye, and tissue donors

(Richmond, VA) — July 31, 2016 — The Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) has launched a new digital toolkit to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the National Minority Donor Awareness Week (NMDAW) observance. Launched in 1996, NMDAW was created to increase awareness of the need for more organ, eye, and tissue donors from ethnically diverse communities. In just two decades, the number of U.S. multicultural donors has grown exponentially from just over 1,000 in 1996 to more than 3,000—an increase of 160% (Source: TransplantPro, United Network of Organ Sharing.

AMAT’s #NMDAW20 digital toolkit (available for download at www.amat1.org/programs/#NMDAW20) includes helpful resources for its members and community partners, including: infographics showcasing NMDAW-led donation trends in ethnically diverse communities; social media banners; Donate Life testimonials from multicultural organ & tissue donors/recipients; information on how to join AMAT’s broad-ranging efforts to save and enhance more lives; and most importantly, provide user-friendly means for individuals to join their state’s organ and tissue donor registries.

In addition to the launch of the digital toolkit, AMAT invites its members and industry partners to chronicle their NDMAW activities via social media portals using the hashtag: #NMDAW20.

“Since its inception in 1991, AMAT has had the great fortune of working side by side with our industry partner, MOTTEP (National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Program), along with Dr. Clive O Callendar, NMDAW visionary and founder,” said Remonia Chapman, president of AMAT. “As NMDAW celebrates its 20th anniversary, we salute the great strides that have been made in terms of the significant increase of multicultural organ, eye, and tissue donors. As the percentage of patients being added to the national transplant list continues to surpass the percentage of ethnically diverse donors, we are ever mindful that education and engagement must remain a top priority throughout the donation and transplantation community.”

“In honor of this auspicious milestone, our hope is that all Donate Life champions will showcase their NMDAW pride by creating content that can be shared virally,” said Amanda Hollowell, chairperson of AMAT’s technology committee. “Whether you capture your driver’s licenses/IDs showing that you are a registered donor or you share a video of donation decision conversations with loved ones, we want to showcase how far we have come in terms of organ, eye, and tissue donation advocacy within ethnically diverse communities.”

Minority Donor Awareness Week, on a national level, allows the opportunity to call attention to  the more than 122,000 patients on the transplant waiting list, of which more than half are of a minority. This very important week also also gives a chance to remind our local community of the more than 5,000 individuals awaiting lifesaving organ transplants here at Florida-based centers as well. Sadly, every 11 minutes a new name is added to the transplant waiting list and even more tragic, approximately 18 patients die each day while awaiting an organ that doesn’t come available in time. While nearly 9 million individuals have already made that important decision to register as organ donors on Florida’s donor registry, we’ve an opportunity for many more to help the cause by taking a stance to save lives, by saying “yes” to registering their decision as an organ and/or tissue donor.

About LifeLink® of Florida

LifeLink of Florida is a federally designated, non-profit community service organization dedicated to the recovery of organs and tissue for transplantation.  As the local organ procurement organization (OPO), LifeLink of Florida is responsible for servicing 15 counties in west and southwest Florida – helping both to facilitate the organ donation process within hospital settings, when circumstances allow, and also provide education to the public on how they can help save lives by joining Florida’s organ and tissue donor registry online at www.DonateLifeFlorida.org or while renewing their driver license. One organ and tissue donor has the potential to save 60 lives.  To learn more about organ and tissue donation visit www.LifeLinkFoundation.org.

About the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT)

AMAT was established in 1992 to address the increasing need for organ and tissue donors in the multicultural communities while simultaneously offering support, shared expertise and professional development opportunities for its members as they save and heal lives. AMAT is a self-sustaining, self-governed organization operating solely on voluntary contributions from individuals, corporations, and other affiliated organizations. For more information, visit: www.AMAT1.org.

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