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Workplace Stories

Thousands of U.S. corporations, organizations, and associations are working to create a "donation friendly America" by joining the Workplace Partnership for Life.

Participants offer employees or members an opportunity to learn about, discuss, and make decisions concerning the donation of organs, tissue, marrow and blood.

We have a wide range of partners of every size in locations all across America. Many partners have created innovative donation awareness programs. Perhaps one of them has designed a promotion program that will work for you. This site has been created for us to learn from and share with each other.

Below are stories of some of the early partners and their efforts, and of several newer ones (see asterisks). We have more to come, and stories will be added throughout the year. What we would like most would be to feature YOUR efforts. When your organization becomes a Partner, let us know what you're planning - or if you have been a Partner for awhile and never shared, write to us and let us know how you are helping to save lives.

* CR England Trucking Company, the world's largest refrigerated trucking company, displays the commitment of its owners to organ donation on its Web site by providing a link to www.yesutah.org and encouraging employees to register online as donors. England developed donation information and materials of its own for employees, and the company is the underwriter for Utah's annual 5k "Dash for Donation." Company drivers were once invited to share their thoughts about organ donation; some of their responses are still available on the Web site. The Web site also explains the personal connection with organ donation of the owners of the company. In Give the Gift of Life, an editorial by Dean England, COO of the company, he talks of a brother who donated a kidney to a third brother whose kidneys were failing as a result of his diabetes. And he speaks of his son Riley, an organ donor at 21 after his death in a one-car rollover. Riley England was honored with a floragraph on the Donate Life float in the 2009 Rose Parade ® . (Give the Gift of Life: crengland.com/about/index.jsp)

* The Louisiana Hospital Association (LHA) and the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA) formed a partnership and launched a program in November 2008 to increase the number of individuals on the Louisiana donor registry by 10% — over 160,000 new registered organ donors — by the end of 2009. Led by LHA's Chairman Bill Holman, President and CEO of Baton Rouge General Medical Center, the partnership was committed to increasing donation education in every hospital in Louisiana and to helping those hospitals become a source of knowledge about donation for their communities. Representatives from 50 hospitals attended the initial training, and 70 hospitals are now part of the effort. One hospital that had sent staff to training sessions organized a Donate Life flag-raising ceremony to honor their first-ever organ donor during April's Donate Life Month. The donation took place one month after the campaign training and the donor family performed the flag raising and thanked the hospital staff for their support. A small rural hospital had its first-ever tissue donor, and when LOPA staff arrived, the Donate Life flag was proudly displayed in the main entrance of the hospital. The goal of 160,000 new registered donors in Louisiana was reached — and surpassed — not at the end of 2009, but in August. The LHA committed to two more years of the partnership and two additional goals were meet and surpassed. The LHA/LOPA challenge helped increase the donor registry by over a quarter of a million new registries during the campaign.

* CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Healthcare For more than 5 years, the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Healthcare system has participated in Workplace Partnership initiatives to increase awareness and donor registration by conducting internal and external public initiatives which include feature stories, donor drives, and displays of the donor family quilt. They also have provided opportunities to hear donor family and transplant recipient testimonials during special information sessions. In 2009, a special butterfly release to honor all donors and recipients was held as part of a larger ceremony. Says Sister Michelle O'Brien, a liver recipient and an employee of the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Healthcare system, "Because we recognize the rare opportunity to donate life to someone awaiting a lifesaving transplant — "Giving Life a Second Chance' — we are partners in the crusade to educate our community about the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation."

Greater Detroit Auto Auction has leveraged its media advertising to support organ/tissue/eye donation in Michigan, inviting several radio stations to provide information about the state's Organ Donor Registry at their event booths. TV20 in Detroit and GDAA created a 15 second public service announcement that aired during April's National Donate Life Month to promote the Donor Registry and the state's Donor Drive 2010 campaign.

Greater Detroit Auto Auction places an information card on joining the state's donor registry in gift bags given to participants at their twice weekly auctions and twice a month invites a local volunteer to provide attendees the opportunity to sign up on the state's donor registry.

Michigan's Donor Drive 2010 "widget" internet tool appears on Greater Detroit Auto Auction's Web site External Web Site Policy and its Facebook page which has promoted the state's donor registry multiple times. After a representative from GDAA took a tour of Gift of Life Michigan, photos of the organ recovery organization's facilities were posted on its Facebook page.

A local news crew visited Greater Detroit Auto Auction, video taped the business facility and its visual promotion of organ donation, and interviewed GDAA about Michigan's Donor Drive 2010 campaign. A 1 minute segment aired on the 10:00 PM news, and a summary and the video were posted on TV20 Detroit News station's Web site.External Web Site Policy

Quest Diagnostics chose National Donate Life Month to announce to its employees that it has become a Workplace Partner for Life (WPFL). On April 16, 2010 Quest Diagnostics rolled out its Partnership with posters and distribution of materials to its sites across the country. An internal Website will make organ and tissue donation information available for the company's 43,000 Quest Diagnostics employees. As a Workplace Partner, Quest Diagnostics joins the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's initiative to work with companies, associations, and organizations of all kinds to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation and increase the number of designated donors.

AETNA has provided donation information at wellness fairs and making organ/tissue/marrow donation information available at blood drives. Employees were informed about donation via company newsletters, e-mail communications, internal Web site and special mailings. Materials about donation were distributed through AETNA's Diverse Employee Networks, every AETNA Volunteer Council throughout the nation, and six regional Emerging Markets Heads. AETNA headquarters refers AETNA offices to this Web site for a list of organ procurement organizations available to help with local awareness programs.

AMERICAN COLLEGE of HEALTHCARE EXECUTIVES has a donation icon on the home page of its Web site that leads to a message from the COO/System Executive Vice President, and links to 11 donation-related sites. An organ/tissue donation slogan follows the e-mail employee signature line and is included on fax cover sheets and the "on hold" messaging system. An article on donation is included in each new-member packet and the November/December 2001 issue of Healthcare Executive contained an article on organ/tissue donation.

AMERICAN CHIROPRACTIC ASSOCIATION included a one-page article by HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson in the November/December 2001 issue of the Journal of the Chiropractic Association and featured a story of two ACA members who are organ transplant recipients. Each agreed to be a spokesperson in the ACA/HHS effort to increase donation. ACA's membership newsletter included an article and detailed plans on Workplace Partnership participation to encourage their members to join. ACA also included a fact sheet, "Donate the Gift of Life," in its member newsletter (readership approximately 11,000). Included with the article were a donor card, Q&A's about donation, and the suggestion that members photocopy and place fact sheets in waiting rooms.

BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD of TENNESSEE launched an education campaign to inform employees of benefit coverage for transplants and create donation awareness with sessions that reached a total of nearly 3,000 employees at three offices in Chattanooga and one in Nashville. Session participants received Blue Jean Casual stickers allowing them to wear blue jeans to work on a day of their choice. The stickers incorporated the Gift of Life Donation Initiative ribbon/heart logo.

ESSEX COUNTY, NEW JERSEY was the first local government entity to join the Workplace Partnership. The Essex County Chief Executive pledged to make employees aware of the benefits of donation at an event attended by government officials, New Jersey donation network officials, and Essex County employees who are organ or tissue donation recipients or awaiting a transplant.

FORD MOTOR COMPANY, a charter member of the Workplace Partnership for Life, has been an active supporter of the Workplace Partnership program since its inception and has continued its strong support of organ, tissue, eye, blood and bone marrow donation despite significant challenges in its industry. Ford has encouraged employees to consider donation through articles in @Ford magazine, hosting blood/marrow/organ donor drives, email messages from corporate leaders and Lunch N' Learn programs. Ford employees have volunteered their time in the local community, encouraging DMV customers to sign up on the organ donor registry as they renew their driver's licenses and ID cards.

GENERAL MOTORS/UAW's model program, Life Match, a joint recruitment effort of GM/UAW, has added 3,000 employees (25 percent of whom are from diverse backgrounds), to the National Marrow Donor Program. Other companies are now using the GM/UAW model to promote donation in their workplaces.

NATIONAL BENEVOLENT AND PROTECTIVE ORDER OF ELKS, the nation's largest fraternal organization, joined the Workplace Partnership in August 2001. Beginning in 2003, an organ and tissue donor card has appeared on the reverse side of all Elk membership cards.

NATIONAL SPEAKERS ASSOCIATION posted on its web site a letter supporting donation from NSA's president. The letter, reached by selecting the ribbon heart donation symbol on the home page, urged members to make a personal decision about donation and to mention donation during public presentations. NSA also placed an "NSA Gift of Life Donation Awareness Campaign" card, which included two donor cards, in the January/February issue of "Speaker."

 


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