LifeGift Advocacy: Saving Lives Through Organ and Tissue Donation

Background:

The government is considering rash changes to the national organ donation system that could disrupt organ donation and transplant and lead to lost  lives. Everyone at LifeGift, along with our OPO colleagues, recognize the importance of continual improvement to increase the number of lives saved, but the proposed regulations outlined in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Rule is based on a flawed and invalid method of evaluation and could dismantle the organ donation system if finalized as currently proposed. 

Take Action:

Please contact your Senators and U.S. Reps today and ask them to oppose the Center for Medicare and Medicaid changes. 

#SupportOPOs and #SaveMoreLives through #OrganDonation.

 

Access our Grassroots Toolkit:

We've created a grassroots toolkit for you which includes:

• Sample congressional letters
• Organ Donation Fact Sheet: A System That Works
• Social media graphics
• Social media posts
 

Media:

Editorial Coverage:
 
Letter to the Editor/Washington Post – August 10, 2020: “Reforming the Organ Donation System Must be Done Carefully” - Kevin Cmunt – Gift of Life CEO
 
Opinion Editorial/The Hill - September 12, 2020: "Shortsighted CMS Rule Change Could Endanger our Organ Transplant System" - Dr. David Mulligan, Yale New Haven Health Transplant Surgeon

Opinion Editorial/Fort Worth Star-Telegram - September 16, 2020: "Don’t Let New Federal Rules Threaten Groups that Coordinate Organ Donations" - Nancy Cychol - Cook Children's Hospital Chief of Hospital Services and Affiliate Ventures 

 

LifeGift Social Media:

Stay tuned to our social media sites for legislative/advocacy updates. Please share our information with your audiences. Be sure to use the hashtags #SupportOPOs and #SaveMoreLives
 
 

Contact LifeGift/Sign up for Alerts: 

Please email LifeGift at communications@lifegift.org for more information and/or to sign up for LifeGift Alerts.

 

Side Body: 

The National Perspective

Organ Procurement Organizations

The fifty-eight Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) serving the nation represent a unique aspect of the health care system. These community-based, non-profit organizations are designated by the federal government to recover organs from deceased donors for transplantation. Indeed, they are the only organizations charged with such a responsibility. Since the creation of the OPO structure in the mid-1980s, the US has developed one of the most successful systems of donor identification, authorization, recovery, and coordination in the world.

The work of OPOs also includes support services for donor families, the clinical management of deceased donors, in-service and professional education of hospital staff, public education and donor registration, tissue, and cornea donation and the recovery of non-transplantable organs and tissues for medical research.

OPOs are critical to the organ transplant system that tens of thousands of patients depend on each year to provide the life-saving transplant they so desperately need. For this reason, it is important to recognize the ongoing high-level performance of our donation system and to continue advocating for system changes to support continuous improvement.

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