Initiatives That Transform

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Living Donation California

In 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger demanded "big and bold" action to increase organ donation in California. The governor envisioned changing the state donor registry to a European-style opt-out system, which data showed would have a decidedly negative long-term impact. As Donate Life California's board president, Bryan led the charge to make the most of the governor's keen interest in the cause by redirecting efforts to increasing kidney transplants from living donors.

Strategic Approach

The Donate Life California board prepared a compelling argument that persuaded the governor to shift his focus from deceased donation to promoting living kidney donation. Once the bill started moving forward in committee, we convened an ad hoc meeting of 75 transplant surgeons, coordinators and administrators to hear their concerns and secure buy-in. Once the legislation was passed, a statewide working group collaborated to design and build a comprehensive online educational resource that pre-screened interested donors and invited qualified individuals to refer themselves to a transplant center.

Results

Following its launch in May 2013, the first-of-its-kind website referred 100 qualified altruistic living donor candidates to California kidney transplant programs within 30 months of launch. Transplant centers referred initial phone inquiries to the website to allow staff to focus on patients and qualified potential donors. As of 2018, Living Donation California continues to operate as originally designed, educating and referring individuals who are interested in donating a kidney to a person in need.

 Living Donation California was inspired by Gov. Schwarzenegger's desire to do something "big and bold" to increase the availability of organs for transplant.

Living Donation California was inspired by Gov. Schwarzenegger's desire to do something "big and bold" to increase the availability of organs for transplant.

 Representatives from 15 California kidney transplant programs, the state's four organ procurement organizations, and the National Kidney Registry were represented on the Board of Advisors and working group.

Representatives from 15 California kidney transplant programs, the state's four organ procurement organizations, and the National Kidney Registry were represented on the Board of Advisors and working group.

 Eschewing a promotional posture, Living Donation California was positioned as an "invitation to explore living kidney donation."

Eschewing a promotional posture, Living Donation California was positioned as an "invitation to explore living kidney donation."

 The web-based education and referral service welcomed visitors with warm, inclusive imagery.

The web-based education and referral service welcomed visitors with warm, inclusive imagery.

 The site educated visitors about the need for donors and the donation process to help them make an informed decision.

The site educated visitors about the need for donors and the donation process to help them make an informed decision.

 A dozen videos informed potential living donors about the risks, benefits, and human impact of living kidney donation.

A dozen videos informed potential living donors about the risks, benefits, and human impact of living kidney donation.

 A series of carefully designed questions about beliefs and medical history gauged whether visitors were potentially eligible to be a living kidney donor.

A series of carefully designed questions about beliefs and medical history gauged whether visitors were potentially eligible to be a living kidney donor.

 In the first year, Living Donation California referred 52 potential living donors to California transplant programs.

In the first year, Living Donation California referred 52 potential living donors to California transplant programs.