2017 PA Donate Life Hospital Challenge Kicked Off In Harrisburg
March 21, 2017
Joint News Release: The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE), the Gift of Life Donor Program, and hospitals and health systems across the state, kicked off and celebrated a collaborative organ donation awareness effort.
The event was an opportunity to motivate and inspire participants involved in the 2017 Pennsylvania Donate Life Hospital Challenge, which officially begins April 1, and runs through August 31, 2017. The challenge encourages Pennsylvania hospitals to increase the number of organ and tissue donors, as well as raise donation awareness within their hospitals and throughout their communities.
“Hospitals and health systems take their role in organ donation awareness very seriously,” said HAP President and CEO Andy Carter. “They are deeply committed to reaching employees, patients, and communities to address the importance of giving people a second chance at life or an improved quality of life.”
“There is so much power in the partnership that has formed among the groups that came together to celebrate the start of the Donate Life Hospital Challenge. Through the passionate dedication of all the stakeholders, we are making real progress to create new beginnings for patients and their families.”
Organ donation is critically important across the U.S. and Pennsylvania. More than 7,700 Pennsylvanians await organ transplants and thousands of others await tissue transplants. Nationally, more than 118,500 men, women, and children are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Twenty-two of them die each day because an appropriate match was not found in time. One organ, tissue, and eye donor may save up to eight lives and help more than 75 people.
During the event, four speakers—a donor’s mother, Evelyn Morales; a heart recipient, Marty Brown; and the parents of a child waiting for a heart transplant, Tori DeMartini, MD and Theodore DeMartini, MD—provided the group with heartfelt stories about “the power of the gift,” and further explained why this work is so critical.
HAP’s Chief Strategy Officer Paula Bussard welcomed participants.
“I am honored to be here to celebrate what can be possible when hospitals, organ donation advocates, and state leaders come together around a common goal to increase the number of organ, eye, and tissue donors in a short period of time.”
Dr. Loren Robinson, Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Pennsylvania Department of Health, provided the opening remarks.
Howard M. Nathan, President and CEO, Gift of Life Donor Program, said, “We are extremely grateful for the exceptional talent and commitment of our hospital partners in Pennsylvania. I’m proud of the strong partnerships that we have, which allow us to be stewards of these precious gifts. The HAP campaign is a great opportunity to build on our partnerships, and ultimately, save more lives.”
Susan Stuart, President and CEO, CORE, said, “Through close collaboration with our hospital partners, we create a vital link between donation and transplantation with a goal of saving the lives of the many awaiting transplant.”
Several hospitals showcased their best practices to engage the community and improve education and donation processes within the hospital.
Penn Medicine shared its comprehensive approach to educate the community about organ and tissue donation through the extensive use of social media, radio advertising, and television spots. They also provided clinical education about donation to their hospital staff. Penn Medicine’s representative said that “participation in this challenge has created a sustainable culture of donation that will serve their community, patients, and caregivers well into the future.”
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC proudly displayed its Donate Life flag adorned with signatures of supporters. “Stop the Wait,” its Donate Life campaign, helped raise awareness of organ, tissue, and cornea donation throughout the hospital’s community with eye-catching visuals, a poster contest, and the celebration of “Blue and Green Day” as well as “Transplant RN Day.”
At this point in time, 110 hospitals across the state are participating in the Donate Life Hospital Challenge.
Hospitals will be acknowledged for their efforts. The awareness and designation activities will be shared publicly at the end of the challenge.
ABOUT HAP: HAP is a statewide membership services organization that advocates for nearly 240 Pennsylvania acute and specialty care, primary care, subacute care, long-term care, home health, and hospice providers, as well as the patients and communities they serve. Additional information about HAP is available online at www.haponline.org.
ABOUT GIFT OF LIFE: Since 1974, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 42,000 organ transplants and an estimated 600,000 tissue transplants. In 2016, Gift of Life coordinated over 49 organ donors-per-million-population - ranking it among the highest in the world. For more information about organ and tissue donation or to register, visit www.donors1.org. It only takes 30 seconds to register.
ABOUT CORE: The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 58 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations in the U.S. CORE works closely with donor families and designated health care professionals to coordinate the surgical recovery of organs, tissues and corneas for transplantation. CORE also facilitates the computerized matching of donated organs and placement of corneas. With headquarters in Pittsburgh and an office in Charleston, West Virginia, CORE oversees a region that encompasses 155 hospitals and almost six million people throughout western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, NY. For more information, visit www.core.org or call 1-800-DONORS-7.
Julie Kissinger, The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania
(717) 561-5378, email@example.com
Jeff Jones, Center for Organ Recovery & Education
(412) 642-7700, firstname.lastname@example.org
Allison McDaniel, Gift of Life Donor Program
(215) 557-8090 ext. 1133, email@example.com