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Community Health Coalition Observes National Minority Donor Awareness Week, August 1-7

Community Health

Durham, NC – Community Health Coalition encourages those in our region’s communities to act and register to help save lives as the number of people waiting for life-saving transplants continues to grow.  African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans comprise 58 percent of those currently waiting for life-saving transplants in the United States. By contrast, only about 30% of donors are minorities.

Community Health
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Each year nationally August 1-7 is celebrated as “National Minority Donor Awareness Week” (NMDAW) to encourage African Americans, Asians and Hispanic communities to discuss donation wishes with their families, friends and congregation members–and most importantly, to register as a donor.  Now in its 20th year, this nationwide observance to educate minorities of the desperate need for donation and transplantation within the multicultural community and how to register their decision to donate the precious gift of life has been targeted as an important program area of Community Health Coalition over the last four years.

While people of all ages and ethnicities can save and enhance lives through donation, organs are matched to recipients by a variety of factors—such as blood and tissue type—which can vary by race and ethnicity. While skin color is not a barrier when it comes to organ donations and transplants, the odds of a transplant being successful are much greater when a minority recipient receives an organ from a minority donor.

People of most races and ethnicities in the U.S. donate in proportion to their representation in the population. The need for transplant in some groups, however, is disproportionately high, frequently due to a high incidence of conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, both of which can lead to the need for a kidney transplant.

For example, African Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics/Latinos are three times more likely than Caucasians to suffer from end-stage renal (kidney) disease, often as the result of high blood pressure and other conditions that can damage the kidneys.   Did you know?

  • African-Americans make up 22 percent of North Carolina’s overall population, but represent half of North Carolinians waiting for an organ transplant.
  • Of the more than 1,400 African-Americans waiting for transplants in North Carolina, 95 percent are waiting for a kidney transplant.
  • 44 percent of African-American waiting for a transplant are between the ages of 50 and 64, and 29 percent are between the ages of 35 and 49.
  • African-Americans are four times more
    likely than Caucasians to be on dialysis because of kidney failure, which must often be treated by kidney transplantation.
  • 19 percent of all patients awaiting organ transplants in the United States are of Latino heritage.
  • The majority of Latino patients are waiting for kidney transplants.
  • Diabetes, a leading cause of kidney failure in the United States, is estimated to be four to six times more common in Latinos/Hispanic-Americans.

In 2016:

  • 44% of all those receiving transplants were minorities
  • 32% of all living and deceased donors were minorities

As part of this effort to raise awareness within these communities, Community Health Coalition is actively seeking individuals, particularly minorities to register as donors.  The goal is to register over 150 donors.  If you are interested you can download the form and view the documentary Precious Gift of Life at or call 919-470-8680.

The Community Health Coalition, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to improving health outcomes for African Americans and historically disadvantaged populations in Durham and surrounding areas who shoulder a disproportionate share of morbidity and mortality due to poor health outcomes across a broad spectrum of illness and disease.

There motto is “a healthy community includes you,” because they know that creating healthy communities, families, and individuals will require the collective works and concerted efforts by everyone in the community from lay persons and community leaders, health educators and practitioners, and health care service providers.  The core of their work is done through providing health education and promotion, health equity advocacy, and health care services referrals.


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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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