Organ Donor Awareness Program Launched

April 19, 2001 ( - Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson has launched a national campaign to encourage organ, tissue, marrow and blood donations, working through employer and employee groups.

The initiative fulfills a promise he made on his first day at HHS, 25 days ahead of schedule, according to BNA Daily Labor Report.

Thompson has joined forces with prominent business leaders to create “Workplace Partnership for Life,” an affiliation that will encourage employers and employee groups to develop campaigns to increase donations.

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To date, 17 organizations, including the Big Three automakers and the United Autoworkers, have signed on to participate in the workplace initiative.

Awareness Initiatives

HHS will:

  • conduct a study of donor registries in 16 states
  • organize a national forum to explore the potential of registries
  • commit $3 million to expand a grant program to support strategies to increase organ and tissue donations

The department also plans to disseminate a model organ and tissue donation card. HHS recommends having family members witness a donor’s signature on the card, to help ensure the intention to donate is known.

HHS also plans to create a model curriculum to be offered in driver education courses, and a national medal to honor the families of organ donors.