Since June of 1993, the National Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP®) has been actively working to solve the number one problem in transplantation, the shortage of organ and tissue donors. With more than 96,000 persons on the national transplant waiting list, nearly 50% represent minorities. Due to the shortage of organ and tissue donors, eight to ten persons per day die waiting. National MOTTEP® is the first program of its kind designed to educate minority communities on facts about organ and tissue transplantation; empower minority communities to develop transplant education programs and become involved in addressing the shortage of organ and tissue donors. The program also seeks to increase the number of minorities who sign organ donor cards, have family discussions and eventually become organ and tissue donors. Through MOTTEP’s efforts, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders and Alaska Natives will become aware of the need for more minority donors. At present, the African American community is the primary focus of MOTTEP® of Tennessee.
National MOTTEP expanded from three sites in 1993 to fifteen sites in 1995 across the country. This expansion resulted in the formation of MOTTEP® of Tennessee. These sites are actively working with schools, shopping malls, beauty parlors/barber shops, social organizations, and religious organizations. Corporate, public and private sector partnerships are being formed in each site to assist in the campaign of increasing awareness. As we continue to reach out into minority communities, we are collaborating with other health organizations and taking the message of health promotion and disease prevention into the community, which is the most recent addition to MOTTEP’s agenda. We address those diseases, which lead to the need for transplantation such as hypertension, diabetes, alcohol and substance abuse and poor nutrition.