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Release Date: Monday, August 4, 2014 12:25 PM
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Media Contact:
Sholnn Freeman
Communications Specialist
National Minority Donor Awareness Week Honors Dr. Callender
National Minority Donor Awareness Week honors Dr. Callender.

WASHINGTON (Aug. 4, 2014) –Twenty people from minority groups die every day in the United States on average because of the shortage of organ donations, Dr. Clive O. Callender, Howard University professor of surgery and trailblazer in spreading awareness about minority donor issues, told a campus audience on Aug. 1.

Dr. Callender spoke at the kick-off ceremony for the 2014 National Minority Donor Awareness Week, Aug.1-8, at Howard University Hospital. The event was hosted by George Washington University Hospital and the Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP), which is headquartered at Howard University Hospital.

U.S. minorities make up more than half of those on the organ donation waiting lists while at the same time a shortage of donors remains a major public health challenge. For more than three decades, Dr. Callender has led on-the-ground outreach campaigns to raise awareness in minority communities. Due in large part to his efforts, the donor rate among minorities has quadrupled over the years.

“When I started this effort, it really was an impossible dream,” Dr. Callender said. “But it’s been the power of the message; it’s not me. When we go into the community they understand the message and respond to the needs that we are talking about.”

At the ceremony, Dr. Joseph K. Melancon, chief of transplant surgery at George Washington Hospital, presented Dr. Callender with a special award and lauded him for taking on a healthcare bureaucracy that often has a blind eye to struggles of minority communities.  
The theme for this year’s National Minority Donor Awareness Week is “Love Yourself and Take Care of Yourself.”
For more information about MOTTEP, call (202) 865 4888 or go to

National MOTTEP (Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program) is the first national organization to identify the two-fold solution to the donor shortage by decreasing the number of those in need of a transplant, while simultaneously boosting the number of minority organ donors. Dr. Callender has served on the staff of Howard University Hospital since 1973, where he helped develop the first minority-directed dialysis and transplant center and histocompatibility and immunogenetic lab in the country.


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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