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2016 PA “Donate Life” Hospital Challenge

Hospitals and health systems play a major role in educating citizens

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - March 15, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (March 15)—A collaborative organ donation awareness effort of The Hospital & 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, was kicked off and celebrated on March 14 in Harrisburg.

The event was an opportunity to motivate and inspire participants involved in the 2016 Pennsylvania Donate Life Hospital Challenge, which officially begins April 1 and runs through August 31, 2016. 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 play a major role in educating about and creating awareness of organ donation in the Commonwealth,” said HAP President and CEO Andy Carter. “During this fun but incredibly important challenge, hospitals are volunteering to immerse themselves in the cause and use their creativity to effectively engage staff, patients, families, and communities.”

Organ donation is critically important across the U.S. and Pennsylvania. Nationally, more than 122,000 men, women, and children are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. This includes more than 8,500 people just in Pennsylvania. One Pennsylvanian dies every 18 hours waiting for an organ transplant.

During the event, three speakers—a donor’s mother, a liver and kidney recipient, and an individual waiting for a heart transplant—provided the group with heartfelt, real stories about “the power of the gift,” further explaining why this work is so critical and impactful.

Pennsylvania’s Physician General, Dr. Rachel Levine, provided opening remarks at the event, and thanked participants for their dedication to organ donation awareness work.
“Organ and tissue transplantation has become an integral part of health care in Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth has been a leader in promoting the importance of organ, tissue, and eye donation because of its life-saving and life-enhancing results,” said Dr. Levine.
“I’m proud and inspired by the hospitals and health systems that participate in the Pennsylvania Donate Life Hospital Campaign. Their diverse, creative activities have a profound effect in raising awareness and educating people.”

Howard M. Nathan, President and CEO, Gift of Life Donor Program, said about the challenge, “The HAP campaign is a great opportunity for Gift of Life to build on its strong partnerships with Pennsylvania hospitals. The campaign will allow Gift of Life to strengthen our collaboration with hospital staff and ultimately increase the number of organ and tissue donors in the region.”
“The campaign also represents an opportunity to engage hospital staff in community awareness and educational efforts, and to increase the number of donor designated drivers in Pennsylvania,” said Nathan. “Through these efforts, we can make an impact and save more lives.”

Susan Stuart, President and CEO of CORE, said, “Our hospital partners have the potential to make life possible and to make life flourish. They serve as a critical link between donation and transplantation.”
“With compassion, they help a patient’s family understand the options and how their loved one’s legacy can live on through donation,” said Stuart. “Events like these are the cornerstone of our awareness efforts. They encourage us to take time out of our busy lives to unite for a powerful cause.”
Several hospitals showcased their best practices to engage the community and improve education and donation processes within the hospital.

Meadville Medical Center shared its approach to creating employee engagement and awareness of organ donation within a community hospital setting. It developed an interdisciplinary leadership team, involved frontline staff, collaborated with various departments and hospital partners, and established donation champions within the hospital. After this foundation was set, Meadville Medical Center set out to motivate its staff through activities and events for National Donate Life Month in April 2015, and it plans to create and participate in even more activities during this year’s celebration.

Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine updated its processes in order to improve both patient outcomes and the way it helped support team members after being exposed to a patient’s death. Through the implementation of such strategies as multi-disciplinary donation committee meetings, after-action reviews following every donor case, and having team huddles involving patients and their families, the health system was able to identify improvements and eliminate delays in care.

At this point in time, approximately 80 hospitals across the state are participating in the challenge.
Hospitals will be acknowledged for their efforts. The awareness and designation activities will be captured on a scorecard for participating hospitals to achieve platinum, gold, silver, and bronze level recognitions. This information 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 40,000 organ transplants and an estimated 600,000 tissue transplants. Gift of Life’s service area includes nearly 11 million people, and in 2015 the organization coordinated over 44 organ donors-per-million-population – ranking it among the highest in the world. For more information about organ and tissue donation or to register today, 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.
—-
Graphic-KatieByrns

Katie Byrnes is the Manager of Media Relations at The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP). She works with her association colleagues, members, stakeholders, and the media to communicate health care information and advocacy messages that support Pennsylvania hospitals in their efforts to provide safe, high-quality health care.

Katie Byrnes (statewide)
(717) 561-5342
kbyrnes@haponline.org
Twitter: @HAP_Media

Priscilla Koutsouradis (southeast)
(215) 575-3743
priscillak@dvhc.org
Twitter: @DVHCupdates

Credits:

 

Produced by Vogt Media

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