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Donor Organizations Collaborate to Provide Education, Increase Registries

Monday, May 10, 2004

The Rochester Eye & Tissue Bank and the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network are collaborating in an effort to raise awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation and to increase participation in local donor registries.

The nonprofit organizations have for many years worked together to educate the public about organ and tissue donation, says Linda Fraser, executive director of the Rochester Eye & Tissue Bank. “This is a collaborative arrangement that combines our resources to advance our missions.”

“This partnership further strengthens our existing alliance and allows us to operate more efficiently to educate about donation and register potential donors,” says Robyn Kaufman, executive director of the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, a part of the University of Rochester.

In addition to hosting cooperative educational programs for community, church and school groups, as well as attending health fairs and community events, a joint brochure and donor card was developed to reduce confusion with the public regarding agencies working in organ and tissue recovery. Additionally, the agencies have combined their volunteer training programs and are exploring other ways to reduce duplicate efforts.

The Rochester Eye & Tissue Bank also will assist the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network by including FLDRN’s database of pledged donors a resource that is considered when an individual dies and is eligible to donate organs and tissue. Finger Lake’s database contains 8,000 names of western and central New York residents, while the Eye and Tissue Bank’s database contains 86,000 names.

The Rochester Eye & Tissue Bank, a nonprofit agency established in 1952, recovers and distributes eyes, musculoskeletal, skin and cardiovascular tissues for transplant, medical education and research. The agency serves the New York counties of Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, Seneca, Yates, Steuben and Schuyler, as well as north central Pennsylvania.

The Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network covers 19 counties with a population of 2.4 million, and serves 44 hospitals in the Finger Lakes region, central and northern New York, including the University of Rochester Medical Center and SUNY Upstate Medical University transplant centers. Last year the program bested its five-year average in terms of number of organ donors recovered.

Media Contact

Karin Christensen

(585) 275-1311

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