Few things in life allow us to give life to others. But Kimberly Monroe has made a career of giving life for the past 19 years.
As Manager of Business Development with STBTC Donor Development, her primary job is to promote the importance of tissue and organ donor registration, especially in the African American community – a community under-represented on all donor registries.
A native of Homestead, Florida, Kimberly felt she was called to her career after seeing blood cancers take a toll on her family and community. Today, she also recognizes the need for tissue and organ donors, and she works with local healthcare partners to encourage as many people as possible to sign up.
“It’s incredible how the gift from one tissue donor can help so many people suffering from burns, heart problems, broken bones and more,” she said.
One of her goals is to encourage African Americans, as well as many other ethnic groups, to join registries to donate organs, tissue and stem cells.
“Unfortunately, many minorities do not donate, either because of stigma or a lack of information,” she says. “African-Americans are the least likely to donate or find a match in the stem cell registry. But there’s a real need for donors of all minority backgrounds.”
The global pandemic has had a serious effect on tissue donations as well, Monroe says.
“Protocol changes and concerns around COVID-19 in hospitals have reduced the number of donations and delayed lifesaving transplants,” she says.
Despite the struggles, Monroe is happy to be working hard to save lives.
“Every day, I’m energized to come to work,” she says. “I love how rewarding it feels, and how I am part of a variety of projects. Every day brings something new to the table.”