Southern Miss wins 2014 Donor Challenge - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Southern Miss wins 2014 Donor Challenge

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

This is a news release from the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency

The University of Southern Mississippi has claimed its 2nd Donor Challenge victory in three years by winning the 2014 organ and tissue donation awareness campus campaign. Organized by the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA), the Donor Challenge is a form of college outreach that promotes the need for organ, eye and tissue donation. The program provides education, volunteer training and gives college students a chance to register as donors and encourage donor designations campus-wide among fellow students, staff, faculty, alumni and fans.

During the five week challenge period, Southern Miss accounted for more donor designations than the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University. Campus totals were based on a unique scoring system that fully credited new donor registrations and utilized a points system for existing registrations from fans, students, alumni, faculty and staff that identified their donor status. USM tallied 390 points which accounted for 278 new donors and 448 existing designations. Ole Miss finished second with 200.5 points (106 new donors, 378 existing designations). Mississippi State finished third with 177.75 points (114 new donors, 255 existing designations).

For the third straight year, USM's College of Health Ambassadors led the registration drive and awareness campaign on the Hattiesburg campus. “The College of Health Ambassadors are committed to spreading the word about the need for organ and tissue donation,” said Rebecca Ehret from the College of Health Ambassadors MORA Campaign Committee. “I applaud my fellow Ambassadors for their efforts. Thanks to the MORA campaign, we were able to get the students and faculty of the University of Southern Mississippi the information they needed to make an informed decision in becoming organ and tissue donors. The University of Southern Mississippi may have won the challenge, but we all win when we add a new person to the ‘gift of life' campaign.”

“We are thrilled and humbled by the incredible effort put forth by the University of Southern Mississippi,” said Charlotte Mullinnix, Director of MORA Outreach Services. “From the start, USM's College of Health Ambassadors told us they would take back the Donor Challenge title by defeating both Ole Miss and Mississippi State. They pulled together a truly amazing effort- motivating students, staff, alumni, and gathering support in the Hattiesburg business community."

The College of Health Ambassadors will receive a $500 donation from MORA after attaining all Donor Challenge performance standards that included a volunteer training session, a minimum of four registration events and a minimum of 150 new donor designations.

Currently pitted in respective Donor Challenges, Delta State University and Mississippi College are vying for the top honor in a battle that concludes Friday, November 7th, while Alcorn State University and Jackson State University are involved in a challenge that ends Friday, November 14th. You can register as an organ and tissue donor to support any of these schools on-line at www.msora.org/donorchallenge.

At present, more than 1,400 Mississippians and 123,000+ Americans are in need of a lifesaving transplant. A new patient is added to the national transplant waiting list every 10 minutes and an average of 18 people die each day awaiting a lifesaving transplant that never comes. To register as an organ and tissue donor go to www.donatelifems.org.

Organ Donation Facts:

*More than 1,400 Mississippians are part of the 123,000+ Americans in need of a lifesaving organ transplant.

*An average of 18 Americans die each day awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant.

*A new person is added to a national transplant list every 10 minutes.

*One organ donor can save 8 lives.

*One tissue donor can enhance the lives of more than 50 people.

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