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Center provides education, care and support to encourage living organ donation

lving donors

Sanjay Kulkarni, MD, shared a light moment with the hospital's 1,000th live kidney donor, recipient and their family members at a press conference last May. Dr. Kulkarni is medical director of the Center for Living Organ Donors, which was announced at the press conference.

At a press conference last May to recognize Yale New Haven Hospital's 1,000th living donor kidney transplant, leaders announced a new center that makes it easier for people to make an enormous difference in the lives of others.

Since then, the Center for Living Organ Donors at Yale New Haven Transplantation Center has been helping people throughout the region donate kidneys and livers to loved ones, friends and complete strangers. From January 2016 through March 2017, YNHH has had eight living liver donors and 58 living kidney donors.

"Living donation is critical to helping the nearly 1,500 people in Connecticut who are waiting for a kidney or liver transplant," said Sanjay Kulkarni, MD, the center's medical director, and surgical director, YNHH Kidney Transplant Program. "In many cases, living donation means these patients can receive a transplant more quickly and conveniently and with higher-quality organs. This often results in better long-term health for recipients."

The center assists people from the moment they express interest in donating an organ, providing education about organ donation and, at no charge to prospective donors, screening and laboratory testing for health and other issues that might affect their ability to donate. The transplantation surgery is covered by the recipient or his or her insurance.

The Center for Living Organ Donors is the first center in the country to offer donors social monitoring as well as long-term, follow-up medical care at no out-of-pocket cost to donors. In addition, the center offers an outreach program that provides opportunities for donors to come together. The goal is to foster independent networks of donors who help current and future donors throughout their experiences.

"This is a unique societal benefit to Connecticut residents and represents an advanced community-health model to increase public awareness regarding living donation," Dr. Kulkarni said.

Center for Living Organ Donors physicians and staff members hope their work will reach beyond YNHH and raise awareness about the critical need for living organ donation and care and support for donors.

"We hope to engage the donors who come to our center in a journey that translates their experiences into important public health initiatives that address the health of living donors," said David Mulligan, MD, Transplantation Center director.

To learn more about organ donation, visit

YNHH to hold organ donation month events

In recognition of National Donate Life Month this month, the Yale New Haven Transplantation Center is hosting a series of events:

Thursdays, April 6 and 27, 8 am - 2 pm: Organ donation information tables, East Pavilion cafeteria

Tuesday, April 11, 6 - 8 pm: Heart and Vascular Center Celebration of Life for patients, families, staff, 55 Park St. Auditorium

Wednesday, April 12 and Tuesday, April 25, 11 am - 2 pm: Organ donation information tables, Saint Raphael Campus cafeteria

Tuesday, April 18, 7:30 am - 4:30 pm: Transplant educational passport event, 2nd floor Atrium, YSC

Friday, April 21
: National Donate Life Blue and Green Day: Employees encouraged to wear blue and green (dress code applies)