NJ Sharing Network recognized for diversity efforts

NJ Sharing Network CEO Joe Roth recently was honored as a “Champion of Diversity” by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey for his efforts to promote equal economic opportunity and diversity in the state through the organization’s “Donation Needs Diversity” program.

Roth was recognized for encouraging multicultural communities to become more involved in saving and healing lives through organ and tissue donation. There are nearly 4,000 people in New Jersey currently waiting for life-saving transplants — 66% are people of color. The #DonationNeedsDiversity program played a critical role in generating a 14% increase in New Jersey organ and tissue donor registrations in 2020.

“On behalf of our team at NJ Sharing Network, it is an honor to be recognized by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the African American Chamber of Commerce,” Roth said. “Community outreach and education is an integral and heartfelt part of our life-saving mission at NJ Sharing Network. Our dedicated team is fortunate to be surrounded by a wide and diverse range of community volunteers and partners who are committed to powering our #DonationNeedsDiversity campaign to help save lives and improve the health and well-being of our neighbors.”

Roth emphasized that race and ethnicity are not a factor in organ donation.

How you can help

For more information about ways to get involved and support the #DonationNeedsDiversity campaign, click here.

To register as an organ and tissue donor, click here.

“Although organs are not matched according to race and ethnicity, and people of different races frequently match one another, all individuals waiting for an organ transplant will have a better chance of receiving one if there are large numbers of donors from multicultural communities,” he said.

#DonationNeedsDiversity is strategically promoted on social and news media channels, and through traditional posters, flyers and e-newsletters. However, the campaign’s most effective and unique approach breaks down barriers through key community and hospital relationships and a series of “real talk” discussions, including online youth forums, a national living kidney transplant program broadcast live to remote high school students, faith-based panel discussions, and a scholarship program for inner-city high school seniors.

These interactive activities move beyond transplant to focus on nutrition, healthy living and finding access to health services, Roth said.

“Each year in New Jersey, thousands of lives are saved and enhanced through organ and tissue donation and transplantation,” he said. “Clearly, this is something to celebrate. However, there is an urgent need to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation to help save more lives in our diverse communities of New Jersey.”