BMCC Health Education Professor Sophia Aidiniou and Karen Cummings, a New York organ donor education specialist, appeared together on the CUNY Television episode, “Independent Sources: Crisis not Averted” that first aired March 29.
Their segment begins at 16:20 into the episode, and examines cultural reasons that people do not register as organ donors in New York City. To address that issue, Professor Aidiniou teams up every fall with the organizations LiveOnNY and Long Island TRIO to create a speaker event at BMCC and raise awareness of organ donation.
She also recruits about 15 students every year to become trained as peer educators on the importance of organ donation and the New York State Organ Donor Registry. “The students are very hard working and dedicated,” she says. “Plus they get Co-Curricular credits for their volunteer work educating the BMCC community about organ donation.”
More than 350 organ donors at BMCC have signed up since the annual speaker event started in Fall 2013, says Professor Aidiniou, who received the 2016 "Making a Difference in the Community” Award for her contribution to organ donor enrollments. Every day in the United States, she says, "18 people die waiting for an organ transplant, but one tissue donor can save or improve the lives of up to 50 people.”