ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Health and Human Services today launched the new, improved organdonor.gov web site on the occasion of National Donor Day, February 14, 2011.
Organdonor.gov features new and expanded content, interactive segments, and video presentations. The site will also incorporate stories about people who have been touched by organ, eye, and tissue donation – featuring the experiences of donor families, living donors, transplant recipients, and professionals in the field of organ donation and transplantation.
The new site includes important information for the public to learn what they need to do to sign-up to become a donor in their own state.
"National Donor Day is a time to reflect on the great need for donated organs, eyes, blood stem cells, tissues and blood," said HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield. "With these improvements to organdonor.gov, we hope to make a difference by making a stronger case to the public regarding the importance of donation - while arming them with good material they can use to make an informed choice."
Officials at HRSA also announced that America's hospitals have collectively reached the 75 percent mark in the Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaborative donor conversion rate. The agency has worked with nearly 1,000 hospitals, transplant centers, and organ procurement organizations nationwide to help improve the figure, which represents the proportion of deaths having the potential for donation that result in organ donation.
Seven years ago, when HRSA launched this intensive, collaborative model to share and embed best practices for donation and transplantation, the rate was 54.4 percent.
"At no time has the need for donation been greater. With more than 110,000 people awaiting a life-saving organ and nearly 15,000 people needing bone marrow or cord blood transplants, Americans can be public health heroes by donating the gift of health," noted HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard Koh.
There are a number of actions people can take to observe National Donor Day:
- Register with your State Donor Registry and make sure your family knows you want to be a donor. Visit www.organdonor.gov for more information.
- Sign-up on "Be the Match," the national registry of potential volunteer marrow and blood stem cell donors. Visit www.marrow.org for more information.
- Learn how you can donate your baby's umbilical cord blood stem cells at birth. Visit www.marrow.org for more information.
- Donate blood. To find your local blood center and learn more about blood donation, please visit www.americasblood.org or www.redcrossblood.org.
HRSA provides Federal oversight and support for the nation's organ donation and transplantation network. For more information, please visit www.organdonor.gov.
The agency also provides Federal oversight and support for bone marrow and cord blood donation and transplantation. For more information, please visit
The Health Resources and Services Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA is the primary Federal agency responsible for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit www.hrsa.gov.
SOURCE Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)