Make a difference for BC

Removing barriers to transplantation for SFU faculty and staff

November 17, 2023
Associate Vice President of External Affairs Sobhana Jaya Madhavan represented SFU at the Kidney Foundation of Canada’s second annual Living Donor Circle of Excellence reception.

More than 500 people are waiting for an organ transplant in British Columbia – and a new SFU initiative will support faculty and staff who want to help.

While living organ donation has a transformative impact for recipients, the average recovery time for donors after surgery is four to six weeks. This creates potential financial barriers in the form of lost wages in addition to non-medical costs such as travel or childcare expenses, ultimately contributing to higher wait times for people in need of a transplant.  

To help mitigate those barriers, the Kidney Foundation of Canada became a strategic partner on the American Society of Transplantation's Living Donor Circle of Excellence to promote living donation and recognize employers who provide salary support to their employees during the recovery period. As part of an ongoing commitment to create the conditions for faculty and staff to flourish, SFU is the latest B.C. organization to become a member. 

During the Foundation’s recent Circle of Excellence Reception, SFU Associate Vice President of External Relations Sobhana Jaya-Madhavan shared her perspective as a registered organ donor. 

“I believe that being an organ donor is an incredible act of kindness, and it is kindness that ultimately sustains humanity. It’s inspiring to hear true stories of courage, sacrifice and generosity, and I’m proud to affirm SFU’s commitment to this important cause.”

Participation in the initiative reflects SFU’s broader commitment to making a difference for B.C. through social and economic change. Jaya-Madhavan's remarks also noted the key role of postsecondary institutions in a strong and thriving public healthcare system and highlighted SFU’s efforts, including the establishment of a socially accountable medical school that is set to open in 2026.  

SFU faculty and staff who choose to become living donors will be eligible for 100% of their salary for up to six weeks of recovery time. This leave will be available to all continuing SFU employees, as well as employees in temporary positions longer than three months. For more information, please reach out to SFU’s Organizational Health team (