Conemaugh Health System’s Organ, Tissue, and Eye Donor Advisory Committee worked with local high schools to submit applications for a mini-grant to fund implementation of awareness education curriculum framework in one or more seventh through twelfth grade classrooms throughout the school year.
Conemaugh Valley High School, Greater Johnstown High School, and Windber High School all received grants for the 2017-18 school year. Additional western Pennsylvania schools include Homer-Center in Indiana County, Deer Lakes and Brentwood Schools in Allegheny County, and Mercer High School in Mercer County.
The mini-grant for organ, tissue, and eye donation education awareness is a collaborative effort through the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU13).
“The funds for this grant come from The Governor Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund,” says Pam Swansboro, Director of Nursing Practice at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center and Chairperson for Conemaugh’s Organ, Tissue, and Eye Donor Advisory Committee. “It’s a great opportunity for our students to learn more about donation and about the healthcare industry.”
According to the Pennsylvania website (pa.gov), the money in the fund is “voluntarily donated by Pennsylvanians … Pennsylvanians can make a one dollar donation to the Trust Fund when obtaining or renewing a Driver’s License, photo ID card, or vehicle registration. Donations can also be made on the state income tax form by designating all or part of (an individual’s) refund to the Trust.”
Conemaugh Valley, Greater Johnstown, and Windber High Schools are working closely with Conemaugh’s Donor Advisory Committee and the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) to learn more about donation and awareness efforts in the local community. “They can take this information and help us expand our education for younger students and community initiatives,” says Swansboro. “These students are very innovative and we’re excited they received this mini-grant to implement their education and awareness ideas.”
Register to be an organ, tissue, and cornea donor at core.org/register.