National Kidney Registry Expands Paid Leave Policy for Employees Who Become Living Donors

The National Kidney Registry is proud to announce that it has joined the growing list of organizations that have committed to having a paid leave policy for living organ donation.

More than 100,000 people are waiting for a life-saving kidney or liver transplant, but just four in every 25,000 people donate an organ while living. Financial disincentives are a barrier for many potential living organ donors. Living organ donation typically includes a four- to six-week recovery period and many will use their vacation time or take unpaid absences during this period to donate.

To address this issue, the National Kidney Registry created the Donor Shield program, which includes lost wage reimbursement and free legal support to donors whose employment is terminated as a result of living donation. While Donor Shield does offer protections to employees who want to become living donors, the ultimate goal is that every organization will encourage and support employees who want to become living donors.

To further this goal, and to continue to encourage its own employees to support its mission to increase the number of living donor transplants, the National Kidney Registry has expanded its existing donor paid leave policy to include all living organ donation and joined the Living Donor Circle of Excellence. This program, an initiative of the American Society of Transplantation (AST), celebrates employers who implement internal policies that provide salary support to employees who choose to be living organ donors.

“The National Kidney Registry has always been supportive of its employees becoming living kidney donors, and in fact 50% of NKR’s executive team are living kidney donors. Now, we are proud to implement an official paid leave policy for all living donors to affirm our support for living donation, both within our company and among the general public,” said Michael Lollo, Chief Operating Officer of the National Kidney Registry. “My hope is that by implementing a paid leave policy for all living donors, we serve as an example that will encourage other organizations outside of the transplant world and healthcare to give their employees an opportunity to change or save someone’s life.”

John Gill, MD, Founder of the Living Donor Circle of Excellence said, “Living donors are heroes among us, their gift is life-saving for patients in need of a kidney or liver transplant and has a huge positive impact on society. Patients facing life-threatening diseases are able to live normal lives, raise their families, and participate in their communities. By supporting living organ donors, we are also building stronger communities.”

About the American Society of Transplantation

Founded in 1982, the American Society of Transplantation (AST) is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to advancing the field of transplantation and improving patient care by promoting research, education, advocacy, organ donation, and service to the community. The society is the largest transplant organization in North America (consisting of more than 4,000 professional members) and is recognized as the premier society for transplantation. AST members are sought out as transplant experts and advocates. Other transplant organizations, policy makers, regulatory agencies, payors, academic institutions, and the general public look to the AST for guidance, research, and resources related to transplantation. To learn more, visit:

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