Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Groundbreaking Dane County Ordinance to Assist Prospective Organ Donors

March 17, 2010
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
County Executive

Dane County to be First County in State to Offer Paid Leave for Employees Serving as Human Organ, Bone Marrow Donors

Dane County will be the first county in the state to offer its employees paid leave if they’re serving as bone marrow or human organ donors, County Executive Kathleen Falk announced at a news conference today.  Falk was joined by Donna Katen-Bahensky, President of University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics to detail the new incentives.

Under the proposal, sponsored by Supervisors Jeff Kostelic and Elaine DeSmidt, county employees wishing to donate bone marrow would be eligible for a paid leave of absence for 5 workdays.  Employees who serve as human organ donors could receive a 30 day paid leave of absence.

“Our county will be the first county in Wisconsin to take this step to help prospective donors give the gift of life to friends or family members in need,” Falk said.  “If even one of our 2500 county employees takes advantage of this paid time off and helps save one life, this may very well be one of the most important things we’ve done in county government.”

“My husband has personally benefited from another person’s willingness to share the gift of life and it’s very important that we as a county make it as easy as possible for people to give that gift,” DeSmidt said.

Kostelic quote, “My wife was a live-donor four years ago and successfully donated her kidney to her childhood friend at UW Hospital.  As a state employee, my wife was able to receive a 30 day paid leave of absence while she recovered from surgery.  It seems like a small price to pay to ensure that our fellow Wisconsinites have access to the gift of life.”  

The Dane County Board will vote on the proposal Thursday night.

According to statistics from UW hospital, nearly 103,000 Americans are currently waiting for an organ transplant and nearly 15 people on organ donor waiting lists die each day.  

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