The Laura and John Arnold Foundation has announced the launch of an initiative aimed at increasing the number of eligible organ donors and reducing the number of donated organs that go to waste.
To that end, LJAF has committed $4.2 million to launch the Donor Management Research Initiative, a partnership between Oregon Health and Science University, the University of California, San Francisco, and the United Network for Organ Sharing that seeks to build the evidence base needed to maximize the number of organs per donor and ultimately increase the number of lives saved.
In addition, LJAF announced a grant to the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, which will work to address the number of donated organs that are never used. Currently, about one in five organs is discarded despite the possibility that many of those organs could save a life. The funds will support research to evaluate the incentives that drive the existing transplant system and explore alternative ways to measure performance.
"The average wait time for patients is three to five years — far too long for many people," said Sam Mar, manager of venture development at LJAF. "Those who are able to wait that long are often required to get hooked up to a dialysis machine three times a week for multiple hours at a time. Dialysis is not only far more expensive than a transplant, it also has far worse health outcomes for patients. Our team at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation is working to eliminate the organ waiting list and ensure that everyone who needs an organ transplant is able to receive one."