(New Providence, NJ) – NJ Sharing Network, the non-profit, federally designated organ procurement organization responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue in the state, is proud to announce it has been named a winner of the NJBIZ 2021 Healthcare Heroes Award, which recognizes excellence, innovation, and honors those making a positive impact on the quality of health care in New Jersey.
NJ Sharing Network and other NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes Award winners were honored during a virtual recognition event and will be profiled in NJBIZ, the state’s leading business journal.
Chosen by a panel of independent judges, the NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes Awards program shines a light on individuals and organizations across 12 categories. NJ Sharing Network was recognized in the “Education” category for its innovative #DonationNeedsDiversity awareness initiative in local multicultural communities. The year-round initiative has been credited with building community trust and dispelling misinformation about donation and transplantation in urban areas with the most residents waiting for transplant.
#DonationNeedsDiversity played a critical role in generating a 14% increase in New Jersey organ and tissue donor registrations in 2020. The program also gained national attention at the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) annual conference.
“NJ Sharing Network is honored to be recognized by NJBIZ as a 2021 Healthcare Hero,” said Carolyn M. Welsh, Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, NJ Sharing Network. “Community outreach and education is an integral and heartfelt part of our life-saving mission at NJ Sharing Network. Our dedicated team of professionals is fortunate to be surrounded by a wide and diverse range of community volunteers and partners who are committed to powering our #DonationNeedsDiversity campaign to help save lives and improve the health and wellbeing of our neighbors.”
Under the leadership of Alyssa D’Addio, director of Hospital and Community Services, and E. Denise Peoples and Ametra Burton, Hospital and Community Services specialists, #DonationNeedsDiversity is strategically promoted on social and news media channels, and through traditional posters, flyers and e-newsletters. However, the campaign’s most-effective and unique approach breaks down barriers through key community and hospital relationships and a series of ‘real talk’ discussions. Targeted outreach efforts in 2020 included online youth forums, a national living kidney transplant program broadcasted live to remote high school students, faith-based panel discussions, and a scholarship program for inner city high school seniors helped engage new audiences. These interactive activities move beyond transplant to focus on nutrition, healthy living and finding access to health services.
According to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents are waiting for a life-saving transplant, and 67% are people of color.
“Each year in New Jersey, thousands of lives are saved and enhanced through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Clearly, this is something to celebrate. However, there is an urgent need to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation to help save more lives in our diverse communities of New Jersey,” said Joseph S. Roth, President and CEO, NJ Sharing Network. “Although organs are not matched according to race and ethnicity, and people of different races frequently match one another, all individuals waiting for an organ transplant will have a better chance of receiving one if there are large numbers of donors from multicultural communities.”
NJ Sharing Network’s #DonationNeedsDiversity efforts are ramped up this month during Hispanic Heritage Month with a combination of in-person community events and activities as well as virtual programs on NJ Sharing Network’s robust social media channels and website. NJ Sharing Network also provides online tools that supporters can use, such as Facebook photo frames and messages, and encourages community interaction by sharing stories of how organ and tissue donation has improved lives. For more information about ways to get involved and support the #DonationNeedsDiversity campaign, please visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org/donation-needs-diversity.
To register as an organ and tissue donor, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org.
About NJ Sharing Network
NJ Sharing Network is the federally designated non-profit organization responsible for recovering organs and tissue for the nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents currently waiting for a life-saving transplant. With headquarters in New Providence, NJ, the organization is part of the national recovery system, serving the 110,000 people on the national waiting list. NJ Sharing Network was selected by NJBIZ as one of the state’s “Best Places to Work” for the fourth consecutive year. To learn more, get involved and register as an organ and tissue donor, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org.