ALF creates liver transplant resources for Donate Life Month with eye on improving outcomes

The American Liver Foundation (ALF) is rolling out new patient resources, programs and support to mark Donate Life Month, an annual event focused on the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation.

According to the ALF, more than 2,000 liver patients in the U.S. die each year waiting for a transplant, and others are removed from the waitlist because they become too sick to undergo transplant surgery. The nonprofit sees a need for materials that help people at different stages in the care pathway, from when they learn they need a donation through to after they receive a transplant.

“An informed patient is critically important to making the best decisions about care and ensuring the most favorable outcomes,” Lorraine Stiehl, CEO of the ALF and caregiver to a transplant recipient, said in a statement. “That's why we're so pleased to offer new resources for liver transplant patients as well as to the caregivers who play a vital role in a patient's journey to liver health.”

The ALF initiatives include a monthly virtual meeting of people who have received liver transplants that is moderated by a licensed clinical social worker and a similar event for caregivers. The nonprofit has also created a tool for looking up information about transplant centers. The tool provides information such as the number of deceased and living donor liver transplants conducted by each center in 2023.

Other activities include a “Rebirthday Celebration.” Donor recipients use the word rebirthday to refer to the date on which they underwent their transplant procedure. Nabil Dagher, M.D., director of Northwell Health Transplant Center at North Shore University Hospital, is the guest speaker at the ALF event.

The ALF activities are part of a broader set of initiatives timed to coincide with Donate Life Month. Donate Life America, the nonprofit that leads the awareness month, has broken April up into periods in which it will focus on living donors, pediatric transplants and other topics.