What is MOTTEP®?

National MOTTEP® is the National Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program. It is the first program of its kind in the country designed to:

  • Educate minority communities on facts about organ and tissue transplantation
  • Empower minority communities to develop transplant education programs which allow them to become involved in addressing the shortage of donors
  • Increase minority participation in organ/tissue transplant endeavors including signing organ donor cards
  • Encourage and increase family discussions related to organ and tissue donation
  • Increase the number of minorities who donate organs and tissues

The mission of the National Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program, (MOTTEP®) is to decrease the number and rate of ethnic minority Americans needing organ and tissue transplants. MOTTEP® will achieve its mission by implementing a national information and education campaign that emphasizes both prevention and intervention strategies that result in:

  • healthier life styles and behavioral patterns
  • increased number of minority donors and transplant recipients
  • increased number of family discussions regarding organ and tissue transplants
  • increased number of minority donor pledges

Why is there a National MOTTEP®?

National MOTTEP® was originally established to increase the number of minority organ and tissue transplant donors. The mission of National MOTTEP® was later revised to incorporate a preventive focus by addressing 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.

Where is National MOTTEP® located?

The national office is headquartered at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC. National MOTTEP® has fifteen sites which include:

Anchorage, AK
Birmingham, AL
Los Angeles, CA
Washington, DC
Miami, FL
Atlanta, GA
Honolulu, HI
Chicago, IL
Detroit, MI
Albuquerque, NM
Brooklyn, NY
Cleveland, OH
Nashville, TN
Houston, TX
Richmond, VA
U.S. Virgin Islands

What are the benefits of National MOTTEP®?

National MOTTEP® will:

1. implement strategies to increase the percentage of organ/tissue
donations in minority communities;

2. create strong volunteer community programs which empower


minorities to be involved in community driven strategies to improve
health care;

3. help save the American public $100's of millions per year in health care costs by
successfully increasing the number of tissue donors.

History of National MOTTEP®

In 1991, Dr. Clive O. Callender envisioned an organization that would target minorities educating them on the importance of organ donation and encouraging them to become organ donors. This would be done using a grassroots effort, an endeavor that had not been used to take this message to minorities in the past.

Though the idea for this organization came in 1991, the initial groundwork began in 1978. Members of the Southeastern Organ Procurement Foundation (SEOPF) consulted with Dr. Callender to better understand why minorities, in particular, African Americans, had less than a 5% donation rate while having a disproportionately high rate of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). At that time, African Americans represented 50 to 70 percent of the dialysis population.

With a $500 grant from Howard University Hospital, Dr. Callender started a pilot project to identify the reasons African Americans were not donating. Forty African American DC Residents were interviewed over the course of one year. During that time, five reasons African Americans were not donating were identified. They included:

  • Lack of community awareness about renal disease and transplantation
  • Religious beliefs and superstitions
  • Distrust of the medical community
  • A fear that by signing an organ donor card, medical personnel would not work as hard to save them
  • Racism-they felt that their organs would only go to whites

In order to address the issues brought up by SEOPF and the information gathered during the pilot study, the District of Columbia Organ Donor Project (DCODP) was created by Howard University Hospital and the National Kidney Foundation of the National Capital Area. From 1982 until 1988, the two organizations worked hard to dispel these myths and educate African Americans about organ donation and transplantation.

The success of these efforts led to the involvement of the Dow Chemical Company. They funded a series of efforts to educate African Americans including:

  • Dow Chemical Company's "Take Initiative Program" (DOW TIP) 1986-1992
  • DOW NAACP Black Donor Education Program 1989-1992
  • DOW Historically Black College and University Black Donor Education Program 1990-1992

The efforts of Howard University, the NKF/NCA and the Dow Chemical Company saw an increase in donations from African Americans including:

  • In 1986, 24% of African-Americans signed a donor card, up from 7% in 1985 (Dow Gallup Polls, 1985, 1990)
  • From 1985 to 1990 there was a 21% increase in the number of African Americans that knew about the high success rate of transplantation. (Dow Gallup Polls, 1985, 1990)
  • The number of African American Donors in the District of Columbia increased by 125% from 1982-1989.
  • The percentage of students signing donor cards and having a family discussion about it, increased from 22% in 1991 to 52% in 1992 after the DOW Historically Black College and University Black Donor Education Program was initiated.
  • The number of African American patients receiving organs from African American patients at Howard University Hospital Transplant Center increased from 12% in 1982 to 43% in 1994.

In 1993, the official MOTTEP® office was opened at Howard University Hospital where it remains today. Since that time, the efforts of National MOTTEP® have expanded to other minority communities including, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Asians and Pacific Islanders. The same methodology that was applied to African Americans was applied to other minority groups-empower the community to educate and create change.

National MOTTEP®'s mission has expanded to include a prevention message. The organization recently created a new theme to reflect that change, "Love Yourself, Take Care of Yourself". This message is meant to encourage individuals to adopt healthy behaviors, including eating balanced, nutritious meals, exercising and avoiding unhealthy behaviors such as a diet high in fat and cholesterol, being overweight and abusing drugs and alcohol -- behaviors that could lead to the need for a transplant.

National MOTTEP® currently has 16 sites across the country.

Join Our Mailing List! Email: