Independence Health System Celebrates Donate Life Month

Flag-Raising Activities Raise Awareness of the Importance of Organ Donation

Elicia Kifer

Elicia Kifer

Published April 4, 2024 12:30 am
Last Updated: April 4, 2024 9:26 am
Independence Health System Celebrates Donate Life Month

CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Nationally, more than 100,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant, including 2,500 people in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

At least 20 will die each day without receiving the transplant they so desperately need. Someone is added to the transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.

Annually, the hospitals of Independence Health System join the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) to raise awareness about organ, tissue, and cornea donation, and encourage donor registration during the April celebration of Donate Life Month. In doing so, Independence Health System also is part of the Donate Life Challenge sponsored by the Hospitals and Healthsystems Association of Pennsylvania (HAP).

“HAP applauds the outstanding work of Pennsylvania hospitals and our partners to support and raise awareness about donation. These efforts reflect hospital teams’ commitment to strengthening the health of their communities,” noted HAP President and CEO Nicole Stallings.

To promote the importance of organ donation, Independence Health System through its member hospitals will hold public flag-raising ceremonies on April 5 in the Westmoreland area at Frick, Latrobe, and Westmoreland Hospitals, and on April 10 in the Clarion area at Clarion Hospital. The importance of donor designation will also be the focus of radio shows featuring health system staff and CORE representatives on WHJB and WISR during the month. The health system also will engage in several internal activities, including the observance of Blue and Green Day on April 12 and a unit-specific flag raising on April 16 in the Butler Memorial Hospital ICU.

“During National Donate Life Month, we celebrate the power of organ, tissue, and cornea donation to save and heal lives. We recognize the successful collaborations between CORE and the hospitals in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, that have resulted in more than 900 life-saving organ transplants in 2023,” said Susan Stuart, President & CEO of CORE. “But, above all, this month is a tribute to the selfless donors and their families whose generous decision to give the gift of life has brought hope and healing to those close to home and far away.”

“As a health system, we are uniquely positioned to not only tend to the health of our patients, but to inspire our community to be mindful of wellness in all aspects of life,” said Chief Medical Officer Carol Fox, MD, FAAFP. “The more people we can inspire to become organ donors, the better we can serve our mission to be advocates for the well-being of our entire community.”

Some important facts about organ, tissue, and cornea donation:

  • Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race, or medical history.
    With more than 90,000 people across the nation awaiting a kidney, it is the organ in greatest demand, followed by liver, heart, and lungs.
  • Because conditions such as diabetes and hypertension are often more prevalent in the multicultural community, these individuals make up more than 50 percent of those on the national organ transplant list.
  • Individuals are encouraged to talk with family members and friends about registering as a donor. One organ donor can save up to eight lives and a tissue donor can improve the lives of more than 100 others. To sign up, visit www.core.org.

About CORE

The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 57 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the United States, serving more than five million people in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Chemung County, New York. CORE coordinates the recovery and matching of organs, tissues, and corneas for transplant within our service region, and works tirelessly to create a culture of donation within the hospitals and communities we serve. CORE’s mission is to Save and Heal lives through donation, ultimately ending the deaths of those on the transplant waiting list, while maintaining integrity for the donation process, dignity for the donors, and compassion for their families. CORE is a winner of the 2019 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, a presidential award that recognizes nonprofits for their innovation and excellence. For more information, visit www.core.org or call 1-800-DONORS-7.

About Donate Life America

Donate Life America (DLA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization leading its national partners and Donate Life State Teams to increase the number of donated organs, eyes, and tissue available to save and heal lives. DLA manages and promotes Donate Life℠, the national brand for the cause of donation; motivates the public to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors; provides education about living donation; manages the National Donate Life Registry at RegisterMe.org; and develops and executes effective multi-media campaigns to promote

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