Fairfax County Commission on Organ Donation Announces Plan to Increase Donors


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

April 21, 2004

 

Fairfax County Commission on Organ Donation Announces Plan to Increase Donors

Following the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ proclamation that April is “Donate Life Month,” a county-created commission is announcing a new campaign to increase organ and tissue donation.

The Fairfax County Commission on Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation will reach out to citizens, community groups, public institutions and local businesses to promote organ and tissue donation. The Commission’s plan aims to sign up new donors and encourage businesses to make it easier for people to become living donors.

The need for more organ and tissue donors is critical. In Fairfax County, more than 320 residents are waiting for organ transplants today, and there are more than 2,300 people on the transplant list in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Beginning with “Celebrate Fairfax,” the county fair in June, the Commission will expand its public education and registration efforts. There will be a booth where residents can electronically sign up as organ and tissue donors through www.save7lives.org, Virginia’s new online registration system created last year. The Commission will expand its outreach efforts by maintaining a presence at other community events, including “Fall for Fairfax” in October.

The Commission will encourage local companies to give their employees leave for becoming living donors. Last February, the Board of Supervisors took the lead by offering up to 30 days of administrative leave for any county employee who becomes a living donor. The Commission also will work with community groups to sign up new donors. The Boy Scouts of America, for example, awards a patch to scouts who recruit five donors.

A new name is added to the transplant list every 25 minutes, yet donation rates have not risen to match a growing need.

However, just one organ donor can save seven lives. One person can donate a heart, a liver, a pancreas, two kidneys and two lungs.

Because of this critical need, the Board established the Commission on Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation in 1994. The Commission was the first created by a local government and has served as a model to other localities across the country.

For more information about the Commission on Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation or its new campaign, contact John Ruthinoski at 703-246-3060, TTY 703-591-6435. To learn more about organ and tissue transplants or to become a donor, visit www.save7lives.org.

 

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