RICHMOND, Va., June 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The F.M. Kirby Foundation of Morristown, New Jersey, has given United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) $75,000 to help promote organ donations and increase the number of organ transplants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has been impacting transplants, with the number of transplants nearly cut in half. Fortunately, the numbers are rising again as hospitals, transplant programs and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) adjust to the ever-changing environment.
Support of UNOS from the F.M. Kirby Foundation dates back to 1998. President S. Dillard Kirby says his father, Fred M. Kirby II, felt private philanthropy should play a vital role in meeting demand for organ donations. In 2000, the Kirby Foundation awarded UNOS a $2.5 million grant to help fund the building of UNOS' headquarters in Richmond.
"After the capital project was complete, we focused our support in terms of professional development for doctors and nurses in soliciting and securing donations," S. Dillard Kirby said. "Now with UNOS Labs, we see data, technology and human expertise together is the key toward advancement."
Giving to UNOS means investing in programs focused on solutions aimed at making the system better and more effective, so more lives are saved. Funders can choose to support the National Donor Memorial, UNOS Labs, or help fund the free educational materials patients and their families use to help navigate the complexities of transplant.
About The F.M. Kirby Foundation
The F. M. Kirby Foundation is headquartered in Morristown, New Jersey. Endowed in 1931 by Fred Morgan Kirby, one of the founders of the F.W. Woolworth Company, it was designed to continue in perpetuity through generations of the family. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded over $720 million in grants. Five Kirby family members, currently spanning two generations, serve on the Board, as well as two non-family directors.
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is a non-profit, charitable organization that serves as the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) under contract with the federal government. The OPTN helps create and define organ allocation and distribution policies that make the best use of donated organs. This process involves continuously evaluating new advances and discoveries so policies can be adapted to best serve patients waiting for transplants. All transplant programs and organ procurement organizations throughout the country are OPTN members and are obligated to follow the policies the OPTN creates for allocating organs.
SOURCE United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)