Richard - Dual Kidney Transplant Recipient
Community Outreach and Education
Churches for Organ Donation Education and Registration (CodeR)
Versiti partners with religious leaders and faith communities in southeastern Wisconsin to elevate the organ and tissue donation conversation. CodeR churches open their doors to hundreds of people, sharing a message of support for families touched by organ and tissue donation.
These churches play a vital role in helping to dispel myths with facts and through frank conversations. We are thankful to partner with so many churches that view organ and tissue donation as an act of kindness and neighborly love.
Classmates for Organ Donation Education and Registration (CodeR)
CodeR assists high school students with outreach and education for organ and tissue donation. Armed with this information, teens can make informed decisions about donation and share it with their family members. CodeR provides students with:
- Customizable engagement activities
- Transplant and science curriculum
- Interactive station rotations
- Human kidney on pump exhibit
- Organ allocation case study
- Traveling bone box
Please contact us to arrange a discovery meeting, or to request specific services and resources for high school students, teachers and administrators.
Student Organ Donation Advocates (SODA)
SODA was established in 2014 as a way for college students to become leaders and increase community support and education for organ, tissue and eye donation. Versiti Organ and Tissue supports universities, colleges and high schools that found and maintain new SODA chapters.
Benefits of starting a SODA chapter:
- Begin a dialogue about organ and tissue donor registration
- Acquire in-depth knowledge about organ and tissue donation and its associated ethical, biological, social and health aspects
- Join a national network of students who care about saving lives
- Inspire students to create leadership opportunities, participate in SODA programs, and register as organ and tissue donors
- Receive funding, support and mentorship from SODA National and Versiti Organ and Tissue
- Continue to make a difference on campus for years to come
"I think that everybody should be an organ donor. You can definitely make a difference in somebody's life."
Living Donor Webinar
Versiti Organ and Tissue’s Living Donor Day Webinar explored the life-changing journey of organ donation. During this virtual session, attendees learned from experts and heard from living donors who have given the gift of life. Through these sessions, our goal is to educate and empower individuals to make informed decisions about living organ donation, and we believe this webinar provided valuable insights and resources for people to do just that.
LifeLine: The Ultimate Bond Exhibit
LifeLine: The Ultimate Bond is a traveling exhibit that uses storytelling, artwork and history to foster a dialogue about organ and tissue donation in African American communities. In this exhibit, members of Milwaukee’s Divine Nine historically Black fraternities and sororities share their personal stories and connections to organ and tissue donation, helping to dispel myths and encourage members of their communities to join the organ and tissue donor registry.
Hospital and Medical Partners
Volunteering with Versiti
Organ, Tissue and Eye Donor Registry
Nearly 114,000 people are on the waiting list for organ and tissue donation in Wisconsin. Register now to be an organ donor.
With nearly 60% of the national organ and tissue transplant waiting list reflecting communities of color, we are deeply committed to building awareness around the need for diverse donors.
Currently, more than 100,000 individuals are waiting for a lifesaving organ or life-enhancing tissue transplant. The need continues to grow, but the availability of viable, lifesaving organs from diverse donors fails to match the increasing demand. Nationally, African Americans are the largest group of ethnically diverse patients in need of organ transplants. In 2021, 18% of all transplant recipients were of Hispanic origin.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s largest county of diverse residents, only 25% of Hispanics and African Americans are registered organ, tissue and eye donors. Increasing the number of diverse donors is crucial, as successful transplantation is often enhanced by matching organs and tissues between donors and patients of the same or similar ethnic groups.
- The rate of African Americans with kidney failure caused by high blood pressure is 20 times higher than Caucasians.
- Hispanics are three times more likely than Caucasians to suffer from end-stage renal disease and diabetes.
- Approximately 29% of people waiting for lifesaving organ transplants are African American.