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Sunday September 19th

The state's largest organ donation organization is moving to Chapel Hill

Carolina Donor Services, the largest organ donation organization in North Carolina, is moving its headquarters to Chapel Hill.
Buy Photos Carolina Donor Services, the largest organ donation organization in North Carolina, is moving its headquarters to Chapel Hill.

Carolina Donor Services, the largest organ and tissue donation organization in the state, said it will move its headquarters from Durham to Chapel Hill.

The organization serves over 7.2 million people, 100 hospitals and four transplant centers throughout North Carolina and Virginia.

According to an Oct. 18 press release, the new building will be 50,000 square feet and house 70 of its 130 employees.

“Carolina Donor Services’ future building will be easily accessible from I-40 and centrally located between the four transplant centers of Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, Duke University Medical Center in Durham and UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill,” the release said.

Carolina Donor Services works to educate the public on organ donations and increasing the amount of registered donors to address the nearly 3,000 people currently awaiting organ transplants. Additionally, the company provides grief support to donor families.

Danielle Niedfeldt, president and CEO of Carolina Donor Services, said the company needed a larger headquarters.

“We identified several years ago that we had outgrown our space in Durham,” Niedfeldt said. “It has been quite a process trying to find the right space.”

Niedfeldt said the company was searching for a peaceful setting for a headquarters because it had plans to build a memorial garden in tribute to the company’s donors. 

“We had been searching around Research Triangle Park, and one of our staff members, Maria Palmer, who is a family support specialist, was a member of the town council and was aware of the Enterprise Zone,” Niedfeldt said. “She made the initial connection for us, and we are so grateful.”

The new location will be in Chapel Hill’s Enterprise Zone on Millhouse Road, which the Chapel Hill Town Council created in 2017. 

The company is the first to reside in the zone, which Selmer hopes will attract new businesses in the medical and biotech field to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area and increase the number of job opportunities.

Because Carolina Donor Services is a nonprofit organization, Niedfeldt said the close-knit community of Chapel Hill will generate support for the company.

“The DMV that serves the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area is always among the highest registration rates in the state for organ donors,” Niedfeldt said. “We’ve received a lot of support from the hospital as well.”

Laura Selmer, economic development specialist for the Town of Chapel Hill, said Carolina Donor Services is a great addition to the medical services for the area.

“Chapel Hill is a hub for medical innovation and world-class health care, and the mission of Carolina Donor Services ties in closely with the strengths of Chapel Hill’s medical services,” Selmer said.

Niedfelt said the ground-breaking ceremony will be in spring 2020, and the company will make the official move in spring 2021. 

“Hopefully all of the work that’s been done in the area for approving the uses will really help us with a smooth timeline for our project once we’re able to get started,” Niedfeldt said.

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