Harrisburg, Pa., (Dec. 10, 2019) – Every 10 minutes someone in Pennsylvania is told they need a life-saving transplant. With more than 7,500 patients currently on the transplant waiting list, the need for more registered organ and tissue donors is a public health crisis. To educate and unite Pennsylvanians around the solution, Donate Life Pennsylvania (DLPA) will host its first-ever PA Donor Day on Jan. 8, 2020, aiming to surpass 5 million registered organ and tissue donors in the state.
The fact that one donor can save up to eight lives was the inspiration for the date of Jan. 8, 2020 (1-8-20); PA Donor Day is a collaboration with the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE), Gift of Life Donor Program (GOL), and the Pennsylvania Departments of Health, Education and Transportation.
“PA Donor Day is a unique opportunity to create a unifying moment across the state, a day when we can all work together to do good, to encourage our family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and others to learn more about the life-saving impact of organ and tissue donation and to register,” said Susan Stuart, President and CEO of CORE. “By joining forces, together we can create a momentous impact and help make a difference in the lives of so many Pennsylvanians.”
Pennsylvania currently has a little more than 4.9 million registered donors. In addition to surpassing 5 million registered donors through PA Donor Day, DLPA aims to surpass the 50 percent mark – currently, 49.4 percent of eligible donors in Pennsylvania are registered.
“Last year, organ donors across the country made 33,000 life-saving transplants possible. If every potential donor was registered, it is estimated that the number of lives saved each year would double. Registered donors make a difference and create positive momentum around this critical public health issue,” said Howard M. Nathan, President and CEO of Gift of Life Donor Program. “We are grateful for those employers, organizations and individuals who are participating in Donor Day and encourage all Pennsylvanians to join us in saving lives.”
DLPA invites all employers, organizations and associations across the state to join the growing list of PA Donor Day participants that includes:
- Armstrong Center for Medicine & Health
- Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania
- MTF Biologics
- Organ Donation Advisory Committee
- Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers
- Pennsylvania Freemasons
- Pennsylvania Online Messengers Association
- VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
- WellSpan Health
Contrary to popular misconceptions, anyone can register as an organ and tissue donor regardless of age or health. To learn more about how to get involved with PA Donor Day and organ and tissue donation, visit https://www.donatelifepa.org/padonorday/ or follow @DonateLifePennsylvania on Facebook.
About Donate Life PA
Donate Life Pennsylvania is a collaborative initiative between the Pennsylvania Departments of Health, Education and Transportation and Pennsylvania’s two organ procurement organizations, the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) and Gift of Life Donor Program (GOL). It is funded by residents of Pennsylvania through voluntary contributions included with driver’s license renewals, vehicle registrations and state income tax filings, or through direct check donations to the Governor Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund in care of the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Trust Fund contributions are used to educate Pennsylvanians, build awareness about the importance of organ & tissue donation and increase the number of people who sign up to become organ donors on their driver’s license or state identification cards. More information is available at donatelifepa.org or Facebook.com/DonateLifePennsylvania.
About the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE)
The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 58 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, NY. 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, while maintaining integrity for the donation process, dignity for the donors, and compassion for their families. CORE is a winner of the 2019 Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award, a presidential award that recognizes nonprofits and businesses for their innovation and performance excellence. For more information or to register, please visit core.org.
About Gift of Life Donor Program (GOL)
Gift of Life Donor Program is the non-profit, federally-designated organ procurement organization, serving 11.2 million people in Delaware, southern New Jersey and the eastern half of Pennsylvania. Thanks to its compassionate community, for the past 11 years, Gift of Life has coordinated the most life-saving organs for transplant in the United States. Its annual donation rate ranks among the highest in the world. Since 1974, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 47,000 life-saving organs for transplant, and approximately one million tissue transplants have resulted from the generosity of donors and their families. One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people, and a tissue donor can improve the lives of more than 75 others. For more information or to register, visit donors1.org.