If you are considering making an organ donation, DaVita Kidney Care aims to make that decision a little easier, at least if you’re an employee.
For February 14’s National Donor Day, the company said it would extend its paid leave policy to four consecutive weeks for eligible staffers who donate bone marrow, liver tissue or a kidney.
Of the more than 41,000 organ transplants performed in the U.S. last year, about 6,500 relied on tissue from living donors—a small amount compared to the more than 106,000 people currently on the waitlist for an organ transplant.
According to DaVita, the dialysis provider that operates more than 2,800 centers nationwide, the typical kidney donation procedure includes a hospital stay of four to six days, followed by a recovery period at home requiring medications and additional doctor appointments. The company said the move may ease worries about lost wages or using up accrued time off.
“We’re calling on fellow employers to join us in adopting this policy and help support thousands of Americans awaiting life-giving organ donations,” DaVita’s chief medical officer, Jeff Giullian, said in a statement.
In 2021, DaVita teamed up with the National Kidney Foundation on a year-long pilot program to help support patients searching for a potentially compatible living donor, under the NKF’s The Big Ask: The Big Give platform.
And last month, DaVita acquired the transplant-focused software developer MedSleuth, which aims to connect liver and kidney transplant patients with candidate donors, centers and physicians.
Meanwhile, through its venture capital arm, the company said it has invested in NephroSant—a startup developing a needle-free test to determine if a patient is rejecting a transplanted kidney—as well as in Miromatrix Medical, which is working to bioengineer pig organs into human-compatible transplants.