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The Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) Partners with Donate Life America (DLA) for 2016 Donate Life ECHO (Every Community Has Opportunity)

RICHMOND, VA., July 11, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Started in 2015, Donate Life ECHO, a nationwide observance focused on donation and transplantation in multicultural communities, is poised to begin its second year. The observance encourages individuals to register their decisions to be organ, eye and tissue donors while providing educational information about donation. Donate Life ECHO is a collaborative effort uniting the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) and Donate Life America (DLA).



"The ECHO concept is that one voice with a donation message or story can be carried, amplified and echoed throughout a community," said G. David Fleming, DLA President and CEO. "Donate Life ECHO highlights the greater good that comes from sharing the importance of registering as a donor and telling your family and friends about your decision. Together, we can help save lives."

Multicultural communities play a vital role in donation and transplantation. Indeed, statistics gathered by the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) confirm that the percentage of multicultural donors who save and heal lives account for 34% of all deceased organ donors. Yet, the need for enhanced advocacy and engagement persists. This is especially compounded by the fact that ethnically diverse communities are disproportionately in need of lifesaving organ transplants—especially kidneys.

Currently, nearly 58 percent of the U.S. transplant waiting list is comprised of ethnically diverse patients. Research shared by UNOS further confirms that, "successful transplantation is often enhanced by the matching of organs between members of the same ethnic and racial group." As such, increasing educational efforts and outreach through innovative campaigns is a critical step toward increasing the number of registered donors in multicultural communities. Accordingly, Donate Life ECHO offers a simple yet powerful conduit for sparking dialogue and action.

"This strategic initiative is about empowering individuals to echo the message of donation in diverse communities, and in so doing, increase donor registrations," said Remonia Chapman, president of AMAT. "Donate Life ECHO also creates an opportunity for multicultural professionals, working in healthcare, to join together to promote lifesaving transplantation. Indeed, we hope to inspire future generations of clinicians, nurses, social workers, community educators and healthcare advocates to consider becoming part of this wonderful calling to save and heal lives through the gift of organ and tissue donation."

This year's nationwide Donate Life ECHO, which will be observed July 10 – July 23, aims to continue the momentum garnered during its 2015 launch. With the current popularity of sharing videos through social media platforms, a video element is being added. Donate Life ECHO resources will be available in English and Spanish. In Spanish, Done Vida ECO stands for Esperanza, Comunidad y Oportunidad: "hope," "community," and "opportunity." Together, AMAT and DLA will offer a Donate Life ECHO digital toolkit that will include: social media banners, graphics, talking points, statistics and other resources that can be customized for specific audiences. To learn more, please visit: www.amat1.org/programs/echo and www.DonateLife.net/echo.

To register your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor in the National Donate Life Registry, please go to RegisterMe.org.

About the Association of Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT)

AMAT was established in 1992 to address the increasing need for organ and tissue donors in the multicultural communities while simultaneously offering support, shared expertise and professional development opportunities for its members as they save and heal lives. AMAT is a self-sustaining, self-governed organization operating solely on voluntary contributions from individuals, corporations, and other affiliated organizations. For more information, visit: www.AMAT1.org.

About Donate Life America (DLA)

Donate Life America is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and Donate Life State Teams across the United States committed to saving and healing lives through increased organ, eye and tissue donation. Donate Life America, with the help of its corporate partners, is dedicated to spreading the word about the importance of being a registered donor so that others may live. For more information, visit: www.DonateLife.net, RegisterMe.org.

CONTACT: Media Contacts: AMAT Zach Hausauer, Chair of the AMAT PR Committee ZHausauer@dnwest.org, 775-741-5007 Donate Life America Hilary Czarda, Sr. Communications and Data Coordinator HCzarda@donatelife.net, 804-377-3584

Source: Donate Life America