Recognizing National Minority Donor Awareness Month

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Aug 14, 2023

National Minority Donor Awareness MonthNational Minority Donor Awareness Month reminds us that the power to save lives is within our grasp, enhancing awareness of donor transplantation in multicultural communities. Focusing primarily on African Americans, Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans, the need for life-saving organ transplants in these communities nationwide is significant, as these populations comprise most of the waitlist.

And that’s why we recognize August as National Minority Donor Awareness Month to highlight organ and tissue donation and transplantation and to increase and encourage donor registration, particularly in diverse communities with a greater need for organ transplants. This annual observance seeks to increase organ donor registrations among communities of color that would help bring heightened awareness to the health disparities for minorities.

People of color comprise nearly 60 percent of those on the national waitlist. Though organ transplant candidates don’t need to match based on race or ethnicity, transplant matches within ethnic groups can be more compatible and successful. By registering as organ donors and spreading awareness about the life-changing impact of transplantation, we can help reduce the waitlist and provide a renewed lease on life to those in need.

University Hospital at Downstate offers the only kidney transplantation program in Brooklyn. In New York State alone, nearly 8,000 New Yorkers are currently waiting for an organ transplant; every day, 17 people in the U.S. die waiting for an organ transplant. Currently, 46 percent of eligible New York State residents have registered to be organ donors through the Donate Life Registry. Any New Yorker aged 16 and older can register as a donor.

Moro O. Salifu, M.D., MPH, MBA, MACP, chief of the kidney program here at SUNY Downstate, shares more about the importance of donations in this critical message.


Contact: Dawn S. Walker
347.533.2071 (Cell)

About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is the borough’s only academic medical center for health education, research, and patient care. It is a 342-bed facility serving the healthcare needs of New York City and Brooklyn’s 2.6 million residents. University Hospital at Downstate (UHD) is Downstate’s teaching hospital; it is backed by an outstanding medical school’s expertise and world-class academic medical center research facilities. Over 800 physicians, representing 53 specialties and subspecialties—many of them ranked as tops in their fields—comprise Downstate’s staff.

In addition to high-risk neonatal and infant services, pediatric nephrology, and dialysis (kidney diseases)—and offering the only kidney transplantation program in Brooklyn, among many other distinctive programs. Downstate comprises a College of Medicine, a College of Nursing, a School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative, including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @sunydownstate.