UMDNJ Develops Innovative Online Education Addressing Organ and Tissue Donation and Recovery in Response to New Jersey Hero Act Legislation

Top Quote UMDNJ addresses need for professional health education in organ and tissue donation and recovery with a series of online continuing education activities for physicians, nurses and other health care professionals. End Quote
  • Newark, NJ (1888PressRelease) October 20, 2011 - In response to the "New Jersey Hero Act," legislation, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) will address the need for professional health education in organ and tissue donation and recovery with a series of online continuing education activities.

    The "New Jersey Hero Act," enacted by the New Jersey Legislature and General Assembly, outlines the State's renewed public policy of advocacy that encourages positive donation decisions and promotes learning initiatives for practicing physicians, nurses and health care professionals as certified continuing education. As a means of dispelling myths associated with organ donation, the UMDNJ educational initiative will provide accurate information about the donation and recovery process, and emphasize the fundamental responsibility of able individuals to take appropriate action to help save or enhance another's life through donation.

    Today, close to 5,000 New Jersey residents wait for organ donations to save their lives, and countless others for life enhancing tissue donations. Each of these individuals depends on ordinary citizens who make the heroic decision to help through donation. Unfortunately, such heroes are small in number, as misinformation and preconceived notions about organ and tissue donation often deter potential donors from making a life-saving decision to give. Although 95% of the national population indicates support for donation, a far smaller percentage actually makes the legally binding decision to become organ and tissue donors. The lack of available organs for transplant has resulted in the deaths of over 2,470 New Jersey residents since 1997.

    To address this health care crisis, UMDNJ has partnered with New Jersey organ procurement organizations, the New Jersey Organ and Tissue Sharing Network and the Gift of Life Donor Program; as well as the Discovery Institute for Medical Education (DIME) to develop the program New Jersey HeroesAct ( This series of innovative educational activities will guide physicians, nurses and other health care professionals through the complex, and sometimes emotional topics related to organ and tissue donation. "Education promotes understanding and confidence" said Barbara Turci, Assistant Director of Organ Recovery Services at NJ Sharing Network. "New Jersey needs health care providers who are informed, and can communicate knowledge to their patients with confidence."

    This series of web-based CME/CE-certified activities consists of 4 online video modules that address the specific topics of Legal and Ethical Standards, Clinical Practice Guidelines, Donor and Organ Management and Communication Strategies. HeroesAct is supported by an educational grant from Pfizer, Inc. There are no fees for participating and receiving CME/CE credit for these activities.

    "Accurate and responsible information can make a significant impact on medical practice, and certified education ensures that content is relevant, current and unbiased," said Patrick Dwyer, Director of Continuing Medical Education at the UMDNJ-Center for Continuing and Outreach Education. "Health care professionals in New Jersey have a unique opportunity to influence positive decisions by providing patients with knowledgeable insight into the processes and issues associated with donation."

    Mr. Dwyer added, "This educational activity will provide a foundation for that knowledge, as well as a resource for additional learning on this topic. By providing high-quality education, we hope to shed some light on this topic, and influence organ and tissue donation in a positive way."

    To learn more about UMDNJ's New Jersey HeroesAct CME/CE Enduring online activity, please visit:

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