National Minority Donor Awareness Week August 1-8 Promote Awareness & Prevent Disease—7 Days, 7 Actions, Save 7 Lives

WASHINGTON (July 31, 2015) – Howard University Hospital will recognize National Minority Donor Awareness Week with public health activities during the first week of August. Building awareness of the pressing need for minority organ donation has long been championed by Howard University surgeon and medical professor Dr. Clive O. Callender.

First recognized by President Bill Clinton in 1996 and launched by the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP), National Minority Donor Awareness Week, was created to draw attention to the need for donation and transplantation in multicultural communities and honor minority groups. The mission of MOTTEP is to specifically educate ethnic minority Americans about the need for organ, tissue and blood donation.

MOTTEP and Howard University Hospital will kick off recognition of Minority Donation Awareness Week with an information station and general health screenings (blood pressure/glucose) at the Whole Foods Market and Health Fair, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the St. Elizabeth’s East Gateway Pavilion, 2700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, S.E.

More than a third of the over 121,000 people waiting for a transplant are African Americans. Minorities disproportionately need organ transplants, however, more minority organ/tissue donation is needed, said Clive O. Callender, M.D., who founded National Minority Donor Awareness Day, which—because of the pressing need for minority organ donors—is now observed for a week, Aug. 1-8.

Minorities are 25 percent of the population but almost 60 percent of those waiting for a transplant are minorities.  The need to be particularly enthusiastic about doing something is great.

The goal of the week is to not only raise awareness of the need for more organ and tissue donors but also prevent the need for transplants by promoting healthy lifestyles. During National Minority Donor Awareness Week, Dr. Callender urges people to do 7 things to promote awareness and to prevent transplants:

  1. Donate. Register to be an organ/ tissue donor and donate blood. National Minority Donor Awareness Week is a great time to officially sign up to be an organ/tissue donor and give blood. There are donation registries in every state and most major cities.
  2. Share. Let your next of kin know that you would like to save 7 Lives and improve the Quality of life of at least 30 others by donating your organs and tissues.
  3. Monitor. Get your blood pressure checked weekly. “Minorities are at higher risk for developing high blood pressure and diabetes, both of which increase the chance of organ failure,” Dr. Callender said. If your blood pressure is above 120/80 (120 over 80) talk to your doctor about ways to control it.  
  4. Exercise. Walk, bike, dance, swim, hike or join a gym and exercise at least 6 days a week for at least 45 minutes. Start the ball rolling by adopting an active lifestyle to reduce the risk of obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
  5. Eat right. More green vegetables, less red meat make for a healthier diet. Try a variety of veggies and cut out the sugary drinks. Your body and your organs will thank you.
  6. Give up. That’s right, give up smoking. Take a step toward quitting. Check out www.smokefree.gov where you can get tips and sign up for text message support. 
  7. Promote awareness. Tell 7 friends!

Available for interviews on this and other subjects related to organ and tissue donation, transplantation and prevention is Dr. Callender, a world-renowned expert in minority transplant surgery and organ and tissue donation, who founded National MOTTEP 24 years ago.

First recognized by President Bill Clinton in 1996 and launched by the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP), National Minority Donor Awareness Week, was created to draw attention to the need for donation and transplantation in multicultural communities and honor minority groups. The mission of MOTTEP is to specifically educate ethnic minority Americans about the need for organ, tissue and blood donation. For more information, call (202) 865-4888.

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