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Championing living donation in the workplace

Four in 100,000 employed people each year volunteer to become living organ donors, giving one or part of their own healthy organs while they are still alive to help somebody in desperate need.

While living donors can expect to make a full recovery, volunteering for this incredible act is a huge commitment, and often comes at a personal cost. Living organ donors are an essential part of the organ donation landscape, providing the organs for 36.5% of kidney transplants and 19% of liver transplants worldwide in 2019.

Despite their enormous contribution to society, and the thousands of lives saved each year by living organ donors, the financial hurdles faced by living donors can be severe. Many struggle financially to get support during the 4-6-week recovery period. Often, donors are faced with having to use vacation time or unpaid leave, or even risk being forced to quit. Beyond these immediate pressures, living donors with dependents may face additional costs for child and elderly care, and may need to take long journeys to reach the treatment center.

At Hansa, we believe that employers have a moral responsibility to support any employee wishing to make the brave step of becoming a living donor, and that is why we are incredibly proud to be part of the American Transplant Society’s (AST) Living Donor Circle of Excellence.

The Living Donor Circle of Excellence was launched by the AST in 2020, a year which saw the waiting lists for transplant grow steadily amidst the global pandemic. The initiative works with its partners to help them develop company policies that support any employee wishing to become a living donor by removing as much as possible the social and financial barriers they may come up against. These policies ensure that a donor’s position is protected for the duration of their leave, and offer salary support during their recovery period. In doing so, the Circle of Excellence hopes to enable even more people to take the remarkable step of living donation.

Hansa Biopharma takes pride in its position as a partner of the Circle of Excellence, and has introduced a robust policy for anyone wishing to become a living donor. "The level of support we offer is among the strongest, it doesn’t matter where in the world you work for Hansa; all employees are entitled the same comprehensive coverage" said Angela Maldonado, Scientific Affairs Director, and architect of Hansa’s policy.

With fewer than four living donors per 100,000 employed persons, most companies will only rarely support a donor. However, by simply creating these policies, employers are removing the barriers to living donation, and making this incredible act of selflessness possible for anyone who wishes to do it.

Visit the ASTs website here to find out more about the Living Donor Circle of Excellence and living organ donation.