Clive O. Callender, MD is the first LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr. Professor of Surgery at Howard University College of Medicine. In 1973, Dr. Callender helped develop the first minority directed dialysis and transplant center and histocompatibility and immunogenetic laboratory in this country. His work in minority organ/tissue donation education has been chronicled in the New England Journal of Medicine. Conceptualized in 1991, Dr. Callender is the Founder and Principal Investigator of the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP) - the first national program of its kind targeting African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, American Indians and Alaska Natives. National MOTTEP’s community based efforts have reached more than six million persons around the world.
As the senior African American transplant surgeon and expert as it relates to minorities and organ/tissue donation and transplantation, Dr. Callender’s media appearances have included the Oprah Show, BET, Dateline, Nightline, CNN News and the CBS Evening News. Dr. Callender has spoken to both professional and lay audiences at more than 900 meetings/forums on the subject of transplantation, and has authored over 125 scientific publications on this subject.
FOUNDING OF NATIONAL MOTTEP BACKGROUND
In 1980, I was asked to by the Southeastern Organ Procurement Foundation to conduct a study to determine why Blacks were reluctant to become donors. A community focus group was convened of 40 persons. Of these 40, only 2 had signed donor cards and 38 had not. With the support of messengers such as a donor family member, donor and recipient along with the health care providers, questions were answered, myths were addressed and the five reasons for the reluctance were first discovered.
1) Lack of Transplant Awareness. 2) Religious Myths and Misperceptions.
3) Distrust of the Medical Community. 4) Fear of Premature Death.
By the end of the focus group session, all 40 were in favor of organ/tissue donation. The methodology utilized in the focus group was used to address the Black community to increase donation awareness and education.
In 1991, the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP) was conceptualized using the same methodology to educate all ethnic minority communities about the importance of organ/tissue donation and transplantation. National MOTTEP utilizes culturally sensitive and ethnically similar transplant recipients, donor family members, living donors, potential recipients along with health care professionals as effective messengers.
In 1995, National MOTTEP was the first national organization to incorporate a disease prevention component that addresses the diseases and behaviors which lead to the need for transplantation such as diabetes, hypertension, alcohol and substance abuse, poor nutrition and lack of exercise or physical activity.
In 1988, minorities represented 15% of the donor population. Currently, minorities represent 30.9% of the donor population. National MOTTEP’s work has definitely impacted the increase in minority donation rates.