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Organ Donation: Opportunities for Action
Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaboratives. These include the value of early referrals (timely hospital reporting of deaths to an organ procurement organization [OPO]), the use of appropriate and effective requesters, the incorporation of family support counselors into the consent process and the provision of bereavement assistance, and contacts with families with the expectation of donation (the presumptive-consent or expected donation approach).
In FY 2004, HRSA designated $3.6 million in grants to media-based organ donation projects (personal communication, M. Ganikos, HRSA, 2005). The seven grant recipients included donor networks, foundations, and medical centers. The grantees used the funds to raise awareness and encourage organ donation through the use of radio, television, and print advertisements; public events; and outreach efforts. This program focused on audiences comprising minority populations, in particular, by using targeted media and community events to reach African-American and Hispanic groups. For instance, HRSA supported almost 19,000 traffic advertisements in 15 African-American and Hispanic markets. HRSA is evaluating the effectiveness of media-based interventions and may continue this program in the future.
The goal of the Clinical Interventions grants program is to find clinical strategies that speed up organ placement, such as the more efficient identification of potential donors. Specifically, HRSA provides 3-year Clinical Interventions grants for research that results in measurable increases in transplantation rates.
Between FY 2002 and 2004, HRSA provided roughly $9 million in grants for 11 projects that used clinical interventions to increase organ procurement (personal communication, J. Perdue, HRSA, 2005). The FY 2005 budget ($2.5 million) and the FY 2006 budget ($1 million) included only noncompeting funds to maintain these efforts, during which time the program was and is being evaluated.
Table E-1 categorizes HRSA’s grant projects from 1999 through 2004 by intervention type and target audience. Several of the projects could have been categorized under several headings, such as “public education” and “registry enrollment,” as public education projects often aim to increase