PHOTO: Dino Persio of Ebensburg addressed the audience and encouraged organ donation. "I'm here today because of families like yours," he said. Persio is a 1998 liver recipient.
Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center and the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) hosted the 3rd Annual Organ Donor Recognition Wall rededication ceremony on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at Conemaugh Memorial. The donor wall, located on the 3rd floor of the main campus Clinical Pavilion, is dedicated to all organ, tissue and eye donors. The ceremony is held annually during National Donate Life Month in April. The goal of this month long observance is to highlight the critical need for designated donors.
Donations in 2012 by Conemaugh Health System patients have resulted in 34 life-saving organ transplants, 56 cornea transplants and as many as 1,500 life-enhancing tissue transplants. Additionally, countless individuals may someday benefit from organs and tissues that were recovered for research.
Conemaugh Memorial is a two-time recipient of the Thomas Poliziani Living Legacy Scholarship, by the Pennsylvania Hospital Collaborative in Pittsburgh, which helped fund the creation and implementation of the wall.
“At CORE, we are pleased to mark National Donate Life Month this April with the rededication of the donor wall at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, and to bring increased awareness to organ, tissue and cornea donation,” said Susan Stuart, President and CEO of CORE. “One of our primary goals is to educate the public of the need to make a pledge for life and become an organ, tissue and cornea donor.”
“This wall is a visible testament to the unparalleled gift given by all donors and donor families,” says Dr. S. Lee Miller, Conemaugh Physician Group Critical Care / Trauma Surgeon, Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Conemaugh Health System and CORE Board of Directors Chief Medical Director. “As patients, visitors and staff pass the organ donor wall each day they are reminded of the need to help others and those who have already given the gift of life.”
The rededication was coordinated by Conemaugh Memorial’s CORE Advisory Committee which works to increase organ donor awareness and education within the Health System and the surrounding community. The Advisory Committee consists of Conemaugh employees from various departments including Nursing, Respiratory Care, Pastoral Care, Marketing and Education. Each member provides valuable insight to patient needs in relation to organ donation.
“Our organization truly embraces Organ Donor Awareness Month,” says Pamela Swansboro, Director of Nursing Practice and CORE Advisory Committee Chair at Conemaugh Memorial. “We try to involve and educate all 4,500 employees – not just direct care givers. We’re also working to grow awareness in our surrounding community and increase the number of individuals who register as organ donors.”
During Organ Donor Awareness Month, Conemaugh hangs “Donate Life” flags outside of Conemaugh Memorial, Conemaugh Miners Medical Center and Conemaugh Meyersdale Medical Center, the three hospitals of Conemaugh Health System. Educational displays, Facebook posts and information in the employee newsletter help to increase awareness.
To become an organ donor, visit www.donatelife-pa.org or check “yes” for organ and tissue donation when renewing a driver’s license or photo ID.
2012 Organ Donors:
George Adams III
Cynthia Sponsky Hale
Drinan Marie McCombie
Lawrence McDowell, Sr.
John McMillan Jr.
Richard E. Thomas
The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 58 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the United States. 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. For more information, visit www.core.org or call 1-800-DONORS-7.
About Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center
Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center (MMC), the flagship hospital of the Conemaugh Health System, is a regional referral hospital known for clinical excellence. Memorial has received HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence award for 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008 and 2007, for clinical outcomes which are among the Top 5% in the nation. Learn more at the Conemaugh Health System’s all new website, www.conemaugh.org.
For More Information, Please Contact:
Amy Bradley, Director of Public Affairs
Phone: (814) 534-3121