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Study surveys community about organ donations

JONESBORO — A regional research effort seeks to determine reasons why African Americans are less likely to be organ donors than those of other races and nationalities.

Volunteers with the Emory University School of Public Health are involved in Project Giving ACTS, which includes a campaign to educate minorities about organ donation.

Damien Swearing is a community worker for the Project Giving ACTS. He said the project is a culturally-sensitive organ and tissue donation education study for self-identifying African Americans and their families.

He said the project targets communities around metro Atlanta, including the Ellenwood and Jonesboro areas.

“I am specifically recruiting individuals residing in the 30238 (Jonesboro) zip code that would be interested in participating in this project,” he said.

Swearing said participants are asked to complete a questionnaire, watch a 30-minute organ donation-related video, review an educational booklet and engage in a 30-minute group discussion.

“The questionnaire will address information related to your knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about the topic of organ donation,” he said. “Group discussions will be conducted in a private, relaxing environment, and participation would last no longer than two hours.”

Swearing said there is no hard deadline for the study, but researchers are hoping to survey as many people as possible in the short term.

He is available to answer questions about the project at 404-939-5543 or at damien.swearing@emory.edu. Interested people can also contact Project Giving ACTS staff member Dana Robinson at 404-727-2386.

“Keep in mind that this project is not signing you up to be an organ donor,” he said. “We merely want to know more about your opinions and attitudes around the topic of organ donation.”