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AST to Address Human Resources Groups Nationwide to Encourage them to Adopt a Paid Leave Plan for Organ Donors
Date:9/24/2008

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Society of Transplantation (AST) is hitting the road to spread the word about organ donation to a unique target audience -- human resource professionals.

AST is scheduled to meet with state chapters of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) nationwide to promote the Society's Employee Leave and Organ Donation Program. The program is designed to encourage employers to adopt paid leave policies for employees who act as live organ donors. Meetings between AST and SHRM members are scheduled in Seattle, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Boston and San Francisco during October through December. AST will offer guidance in establishing and implementing a paid leave program.

It is AST's position that paid leave, if offered by employers, could help ease the chronic shortage of organs in the U.S., where 3,700 new patients are added to the transplant waiting list each month and 18 die each day awaiting transplantation.

Living Donors: An Important Part of Organ Donation

Living donors are responsible for the organs in approximately 50% of kidney transplants, 10% of liver transplants and 2% of lung transplants. There were 6,306 live organ donations in 2007.

The recovery period for organ and tissue donation surgery varies by individual but is generally one week for bone marrow, four weeks for kidney and up to 12 weeks for liver and lung.

AST Program Aims to Boost Paid Leave Participation

Currently, at least 40 institutions and corporations have paid leave policies for live donors through AST. Twenty-nine states also have policies and many have related legislation pending. The federal government has had a paid leave policy since 1999.

Through its program, AST provides technical assistance to employers who want to establish a paid leave policy for organ donors which includes: a sample human resources policy statement; a booklet that describes organ donation and related employee needs; copies of existing state and federal policies; and a news release template to announce the program.

In addition to meeting with human resource professionals across the country, AST's outreach includes a video which describes how paid employee leave can help with the ongoing organ shortage. The video can also be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ltt4De3m8Ps

About AST

The American Society of Transplantation is an international organization of transplant professionals dedicated to advancing the field of transplantation through the promotion of research, education, advocacy, and organ donation to improve patient care.

For more information, visit http://www.a-s-t.org. To view the video, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ltt4De3m8Ps

Contact:

Leza Raffel

(215) 884-6499


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SOURCE American Society of Transplantation
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