David Foster Foundation partners with ORGANIZE to introduce social declarations in Canada
Transplant Manitoba – Gift of Life is Canada’s first provincial organ donor organization to welcome this online tool.
The David Foster Foundation has collaborated with ORGANIZE and Transplant Manitoba – Gift of Life to help introduce a new concept of declaring and sharing one’s intent to be an organ donor.
ORGANIZE, a non-profit working to reduce the organ donor waiting list in the US and around the world, has developed technology that captures social declarations regarding a person’s organ donation wishes. Individuals can declare their intent via social media and, should they die in a way that allows for organ donation, healthcare professionals can access the platform to provide families with the opportunity to see the social declarations their loved ones publically posted regarding end-of-life wishes and organ donation decisions.
The company has entered into an agreement with Transplant Manitoba, the first province in Canada to introduce the service to specially trained donor coordinators who work with families facing the death of a loved one and deciding if organ donation is an option. Currently, Manitoba has the lowest rate of registered organ donors in Canada with 1.1% per cent of the population officially registered. Transplant Manitoba hopes to increase that number, and hopefully start a social declaration movement across Canada.
“We encourage everyone to talk about the decision to be an organ donor with family and friends and to register that decision on signupforlife.ca,” says Dr. Faisal Siddiqui, Transplant Manitoba – Gift of Life. “We know families are more likely to say yes to organ donation when they know what their family member wanted to do. Having access to social declarations is one more way we can help families be confident in their decision to donate.”
Announced in conjunction with a flag-raising ceremony at Winnipeg City Hall with the Hon. Kelvin Goertzen, Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living, Province of Manitoba; His Worship Mayor Brian Bowman; City of Winnipeg, and representatives of all three organizations, the new tool is designed to increase awareness of the importance of organ donation using the social media landscape.
“Today’s launch of ORGANIZE in Manitoba coincides with our annual fundraising event, the David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala & Concert, happening on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the MTS Centre,” says Michael Ravenhill, CEO of the David Foster Foundation. “We're encouraging Manitobans and all Canadians to join us in declaring their intent to be an organ donor this weekend by tweeting: I am an #OrganDonor #DFFGala.” This one simple tweet sharing your organ donation decision could one day save the life of up to eight people and impact the lives of so many more.
The social declaration does not remove the need to register as an organ donor. It is however, a valuable way for healthcare professionals to assist family members view additional information that their loved ones shared publicly via social media.
“Many times what families are looking for is just an indication of what their loved ones wanted,” says Greg Segal, co-founder of ORGANIZE. “Social declarations allow you to share those wishes with your family in your own words.”
For more information and to register as an organ donor in Manitoba visit, signupforlife.ca. Nationally, Canadians may access their provincial registry through healthycanadians.gc.ca.
About Transplant Manitoba – Gift of Life
Transplant Manitoba consists of five dynamic teams dedicated to caring for patients before and after transplant, and includes Gift of Life, the program responsible for coordinating and supporting organ donation in the province. Our goal is to become a leader in access to transplantation for Manitobans.
ORGANIZE, a not-for-profit organization based in New York, leverages health data to end the organ donor shortage by applying smarter technologies, utilizing social media, building more creative partnerships, and advocating for data- driven policies. For more information, visit www.ORGANIZE.org.
About the David Foster Foundation
David Foster is a proud Canadian, Recipient of the Order of Canada, Officer of the Order of Canada, 50-time nominee and 16-time Grammy Award winner (including three for Producer of the Year), three time Oscar nominee, Golden Globe winner, seven time Juno Award winner, Emmy award winner and has the distinguished honour to have his star on both the Canadian and Hollywood Walk of Fame. He is the man behind the biggest hits, with more than half a billion records sold. In 2015, the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria recognized Foster as their Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year.
Foster launched the David Foster Foundation in his hometown of Victoria in 1986. Across Canada, the David Foster Foundation financially supports the non-medical expenses of families while their children are undergoing lifesaving organ transplants. Thanks to its annual fundraising efforts and the generous support of national partners like TELUS, WestJet, Aird & Berlis LLP, Schnitzer, and Hope Air families receive support for expenses incurred when travelling away from their homes to be with their child during transplant.
Pictured are Dr. Faisal Siddiqui, Mr. David Foster, Mayor Brian Bowman and Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen.