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"First Family Pledge" campaign in increase organ donation launched by ASTS

The American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) has launched a nationwide public education campaign aimed at increasing organ donation by asking America's national leaders to publicly pledge to be organ donors. Outgoing ASTS President Ronald Ferguson, MD, unveiled the program during his presidential address at the ASTS Annual Meeting in Chicago last week.

"This initiative is a campaign designed to increase organ donation called the `ASTS First Family Pledge,'" Ferguson told meeting attendees. "The idea behind the First Family Pledge is to get America's leadership families - from the President and Vice President, on through the Cabinet, Members of Congress, Governors, Mayors - to sign a pledge, a contract if you will, with their families to donate their organs in the event of death to provide life for the loved ones of others."

"In the course of the weeks and months ahead we are going to be asking Senators, Members of Congress, Governors and all those aspiring to public leadership to sign the pledge," Ferguson added.

Reg and Maggie Green, the northern California family who donated the organs of their son Nicholas after he was killed in Italy, will chair the campaign.

The Greens were joined by Illinois gubernatorial candidate Secretary of State George Ryan and his wife in signing a giant replica of the ASTS First Family Pledge following Ferguson's address.

In addition to national leaders, the ASTS campaign will focus on enlisting America's leading companies as corporate supporters of the pledge, Ferguson said.

"One of the things we are going to ask them to do - in addition to providing financial support - is to encourage members of their corporate family to sign the ASTS First Family Pledge," he explained.

The first organization to join in the campaign was the United Resource Networks (URN), an affiliate of the Minneapolis-based United HealthCare Corporation, the largest managed care company in the U.S.

"We look forward to bringing this important program to our employees as well as to the more than 34 million people United Resource Networks touches through its national transplantation network," said David McLean, URN's chief executive officer.
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Publication:Transplant News
Article Type:Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 29, 1998
Words:346
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