A lack of donor organs is a constant dilemma for physicians hoping to perform lifesaving transplant surgeries for patients. Now, the state of Ohio is attempting to address the shortfall by building awareness about the need for organ donation right into the education system.

Beginning this academic year, every school district in the state is required to include at least 30 minutes of discussion about organ donation in high school health classes.

The law is a direct result of the advocacy of Emmalyn Brown, an Athens, Ohio resident who herself was the beneficiary of organ donation. She received a liver transplant when she was nine years old.

In this April 8, 2016 photo, Ohio State Wexner Medical Center transplant surgeon Dr. Amer Rajab, right, prepares to place a donated kidney inside Neal Raisman during surgery at the center in Columbus Ohio. (Doral Chenoweth III/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

According to Brown, the idea developed after she received an assignment in a government class in her junior year of high school. Charged with making a change in her community, Brown reflected on the time she spent volunteering with the organ donation advocacy organization Lifeline of Ohio. She realized faulty perceptions about organ donation were rampant in the greater community.

“While many people agree with donation, misconceptions are often the reason people say ‘no’ to being organ donors,” Brown wrote in a blog post for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. “All of these misconceptions are false, and I believe many more people would agree with donation if they were given the right information.”

Brown contacted her local state representative to argue that organ donation education should be mandatory in high school. The conversation resulted in a bill that traveled successfully through the state legislature and was signed into law by Governor John Kasich in January of this year.

"It's good news for the community as a whole,” Jillian Frazier, the director of development and community services for the organ and tissue recovery organization Lifebanc, told WJW-TV. “We each have the opportunity to save and heal lives, and anytime for us to provide information and education outreach into the community that's our goal for the community to be aware."