Alabama's Organ & Tissue Donation Alliance

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About Donation

Race, Ethnicity & Donation

Legacy of Hope has a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee with a unique mission statement and goals.

Mission

To create, nurture, and sustain a diverse, inclusive workforce, where our differences drive our meaningful efforts, and collectively ensure a safe space for all employees to share their voice.

Goals

  • For all employees to feel safe and respected being their true selves and sharing their stories.
  • To continue having open discussion about diversity, equity, inclusion, and creating a safe environment to do so.
  • Continued education for all staff regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.

 

One of the first accomplishments of the DEI Committee was to add the core value of “Belonging” to our existing core values.  What does Belonging mean to Legacy of Hope?

  • Everyone has a seat at the table
  • Individual perspectives have value
  • Fostering community through empathetic learning

We use an annual culture survey of our team members to evaluate our effectiveness at achieving this core value.

Engaging the African American Community

In Alabama, nearly 70% of the people waiting for a kidney transplant are African American.  The need is great.

African American Task Force (AATF) – The mission of the task force is to support the overall mission of Legacy of Hope by providing education and community outreach in primarily African American communities by dispelling the myths related to organ, eye and tissue donation and increase the number of registered African American organ donors in the state of Alabama.

For more information about AATF, contact LaToya Bishop at 1-800-252-3677 or 205-731-9200.

Donor Network West created a documentary, We Speak Life, to encourage conversation within the African American community about the importance of organ donation.

MOTTEP is the Minority Organ Tissue Transplantation Education Program.

AMAT is the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation. This organization supports partners in the transplant field who help save and heal lives in diverse communities.

Donate Life America has developed a program, Donate Life ECHO, to promote donation on a community level. For more information, visit their website.

Engaging with the LGBTQIA+ Community

Legacy of Hope is proud of its commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community both within and outside our organization:

  • in advancing awareness of the rights of all people, regardless of age, gender, race, or sexual orientation to register as donors;
  • in bringing life-saving knowledge to communities that have traditionally been underserved;
  • in celebrating our local community through participation in Pride events around the state;
  • and in the creation of our own core value of belonging, recognizing that the communities we serve need to see that they are not only permitted, but accepted and celebrated.

Through the continued support of and participation in events—Central Alabama Pride, Druid City Pride, Rocket City Pride, Pride on the Plains, Selma/Montgomery Black Pride, and others—Legacy of Hope seeks to meet communities where they are, and in spaces of their choosing, to offer life-saving information, but also support. We also seek to uplift voices within the community and have worked with internal partners through our own DEI committee to undertake initiatives to make Legacy of Hope an inclusive and affirming workplace, as well as partners external to us to share stories of impact within the LGBTQIA+ community.

Eligibility for organ donation is not the same as that for blood products. And while eye and tissue donation are regulated by the FDA, the same body regulating blood donation, organ donation is not. As of May 11, 2023, the FDA released final guidance regarding the implementation of an Individual Risk Assessment. The effect being that many LGBTQIA+ persons previously unable to donate blood products may now do so. As of yet, this has not extended to tissue donation, and we must adhere to federal policy in the male-to-male sex deferment of tissue and cornea. However, organ donation is regulated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which has no such restriction, meaning that males who have sex with males are not banned from organ donation.

We celebrate this change in policy as a step forward for the LGBTQIA+ community and will await further guidance in adherence to all relevant federal regulations. Legacy of Hope also recognizes that the stigma surrounding those living with HIV has often resulted in communities which are medically underserved. We adhere to current federal policy which permits the donation of organs from HIV positive individuals under the HIV Organ Policy Equity (or HOPE) Act.