The Consortium of HBCU Medical Schools has announced a new initiative to increase the number of African Americans who register to be organ donors. The initiative will also seek to find ways to eliminate racial disparities among recipients of donated organs.
Members of the consortium will enlist professionals in health care fields at HBCUs to visit schools and community centers in their areas to emphasize the importance of organ donorship. They will also provide information on organ transplants to people who may need one.
“At the heart of all this is the profound disparity in transplants that are given and performed on African Americans versus whites in our country, and it’s a long-standing problem and issue,” said James E.K. Hildreth, president and CEO of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, in an interview with The Associated Press. “And some of this messaging has to come from trusted organizations, which is another one of the reasons that we believe that the four Black medical schools have a very important role to play that quite honestly could not be filled by any other organizations in the country.”
The other members of the consortium are Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, and the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Sciences in Los Angeles.