LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Continuing with its mission of inspiring local communities to save and heal lives, OneLegacy announced today an expansion of its programs serving communities of color, aimed at addressing the disparities that currently exist in organ donation and transplantation. OneLegacy’s efforts highlight the stories of local transplant recipients, donor families and OneLegacy Ambassadors and volunteers, expanding on its 2019 multicultural campaign that reached African American, Asian and Hispanic communities through public service announcements on social media.
OneLegacy’s expanded outreach program for 2020 includes:
- A Virtual Town Hall Series, featuring hosts and guests of diverse backgrounds.
- Panel discussions about organ donation and transplantation among communities of color, featuring Association of Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation President Marion Shuck, among other panelists and experts.
- Social media outreach to share facts and figures about healthcare access and disparities among diverse communities, as well as health resources available for African Americans, Hispanics and Asians in Southern California.
- Stories from local donor families and from OneLegacy Ambassadors, a group of volunteers working closely with OneLegacy to share their stories with local communities and organizations across the seven counties OneLegacy serves.
The Virtual Town Hall Series begins live on Instagram on Thursday, June 25, at 1 p.m. (PDT) during Men’s Health Month and Pride Month. Titled “Connecting the Dots,” the series will highlight health and wellness initiatives and feature health experts; organ, eye and tissue recipients; donor families; and partner hospitals’ staff. The June 25 Town Hall will feature Cedric “Jamie” Rutland, M.D., pulmonologist, intensivist and national spokesperson for the American Lung Association, and Dr. Robert Hill, Ph.D., heart and kidney recipient and former dean of student services at Glendale Community College. The public is invited to attend this series by visiting OneLegacy’s Instagram channel, OneLegacyInspires on June 25.
OneLegacy is the not-for-profit organ, eye and tissue agency that serves the greater Los Angeles, Southern California region. Its service area includes the most diverse community in the nation, comprising 69% Hispanic, Asian and Black, as compared to 31% white as well as 185 distinct languages and cultures.
Considering that chronic disease and organ failure disproportionately affect people of color in Southern California (and around the nation), in 2019 communities of color received a higher amount of organ transplants at 73%, while whites received 27% of total transplants. OneLegacy wants to address health disparities and encourage communities of color to seek appropriate healthcare; say “YES” to organ, eye and tissue donation; and get listed for transplants, whenever necessary.
“These health disparities are the result of issues of trust of the medical system, traditional beliefs around death and dying, and the presumption that the organ transplant system discriminates,” says OneLegacy CEO Tom Mone. “While the data shows that organs go to those in greatest need regardless of race, social and healthcare barriers still exist that prevent people from being offered the opportunity of choosing to receive a transplant. This is the reason why OneLegacy is taking such an active role in encouraging the donation and healthcare communities to do more, with the goal of educating all populations in the region and across the United States. The opportunity to donate and to receive a lifesaving transplant knows no sexual orientation and no national, ethnic or religious boundaries. We can create healthier communities through the generous gift of life and transplantation, an action that looks beyond race and ethnicity to help those in greatest need.”
To learn more about OneLegacy’s diversity initiatives, visit OneLegacy’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook channels; and tune in this Thursday, June 25, at 1 p.m. (PDT) to watch the first Town Hall Session.
OneLegacy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in seven counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern. It serves more than 200 hospitals, 11 transplant centers and a diverse population of nearly 20 million, the largest independent donation region in the world. For more information, visit onelegacy.org.