Center for Organ Recovery & Education, University of Pittsburgh and Donate Life America Receive Grant

Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE), University of Pittsburgh and Donate Life America Receive Grant for ‘Text2DonateLife’ Campaign

Campaign Designed to Implement an Innovative Call-to-Action Using Text Messaging 

Pittsburgh, October 10, 2011The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE), a federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) serving Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and parts of New York, in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and Donate Life America, recently received a federal grant to develop and test the effectiveness of registering potential organ, tissue and cornea donors via text messaging. The grant from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to the University of Pittsburgh will enable the three organizations to implement “Text2DonateLife: An Innovative Call to Action for Large-Scale Campaigns Using Text Messaging” over a two-year period. The campaign will seek to provide a new way for a large number of people to simultaneously register to become organ, tissue and cornea donors using cell phone text messaging.

“This program will develop and test an innovative approach using text messaging to register organ donors,” said Howard B. Degenholtz, Ph.D., principal investigator and associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health’s Department of Health Policy & Management. “By providing instructions that people can follow to register simply using their cell phones, it becomes possible to provide the means for a large number of people to simultaneously register to become organ, tissue and cornea donors. They don’t have to wait until their driver’s license needs to be renewed.”

“Nothing is more precious than the gift of life. At CORE, we are constantly seeking new ways to convince more people of the importance of becoming a registered donor,” said Susan Stuart, president and CEO of CORE. “We’re pleased to partner with Dr. Degenholtz so that we can explore new ways to spread this message. We look forward to the results of this pilot program.”

The Text2DonateLife campaign will be developed and tested with a series of collegiate athletic events through the duration of the grant period to test and refine best practices. Based on its success, the organizations hope to implement a text messaging call-to-action that could be incorporated into both CORE and Donate Life America’s marketing materials across their donor service areas.

For more information about CORE, visit www.core.org or call 1-800-DONORS-7.

Contact:

Jeff Donaldson

412-642-7700

jeff.donaldson@elias-savion.com

About CORE

The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 58 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the United States. CORE works closely with donor families and designated health care professionals to coordinate the surgical recovery of organs, tissues and corneas for transplantation. CORE also facilitates the computerized matching of donated organs and placement of corneas. With headquarters in Pittsburgh and an office in Charleston, West Virginia, CORE oversees a region that encompasses 155 hospitals and almost six million people throughout western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, NY. For more information, visit www.core.org or call 1-800-DONORS-7.

About the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH), founded in 1948 and now one of the top-ranked schools of public health in the United States, conducts research on public health and medical care that improves the lives of millions of people around the world. GSPH is a leader in devising new methods to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases, HIV/AIDS, cancer and other important public health issues. For more information about GSPH, visit the school’s Web site at http://www.publichealth.pitt.edu.

About Donate Life America

Donate Life America is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and state teams across the United States committed to increasing organ, eye and tissue donation. Donate Life America manages and promotes the national brand for donation, Donate Life, and assists Donate Life State Teams and national partners in facilitating high-performing donor registries; developing and executing effective multi-media donor education programs; and motivating the American public to register now as organ, eye and tissue donors.