Allegheny Health Network Hospitals Earn Highest Honors for Efforts to Promote Organ Donation Awareness

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Allegheny Health Network is the only health system in the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) region that had each of its hospitals take highest honors in this year's HAP Donate Life Challenge.

Our exceptional caregivers work tirelessly day in and day out to help make our organization one of the nation’s top centers for organ transplantation, and they know from experience how life-saving and life-changing organ donation can be.

Every Allegheny Health Network (AHN) hospital in western Pennsylvania earned platinum-level recognition this year in the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania’s (HAP) annual Donate Life Hospital Challenge. AHN is the only health system in the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) region that had each of its hospitals take the highest honors, earning AHN platinum in CORE’s health system category as well.

The individual AHN hospitals recognized include: Allegheny General, Allegheny Valley, Canonsburg, Forbes, Jefferson, Saint Vincent and West Penn hospitals.

HAP partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, western Pennsylvania’s CORE and southeastern Pennsylvania’s Gift of Life Donor Program —the two organ procurement organizations serving the Commonwealth — to support the 2016 Donate Life Hospital Challenge. From April 1 until August 31, 2016, nearly 100 hospitals across Pennsylvania held activities on their campuses and in the community to increase awareness about the gift of organ donation. HAP awarded platinum-, gold-, and silver-level status to participating hospitals based on the scope, creativity and impact of the donor awareness events and campaigns they developed. Award-winners were recognized at a luncheon December 13 at CORE’s O’Hara Township headquarters.

“I am extremely proud of everyone at AHN who played a role in helping us achieve this wonderful recognition for raising greater awareness about the importance of organ donation,” said Cynthia Hundorfean, AHN President and CEO. “With such a critical shortage of donor organs in our region and across the country, we look forward to continuing our support of CORE and HAP as they strive to make a difference in the lives of so many who are waiting for the gift of life.

“Our exceptional caregivers work tirelessly day in and day out to help make our organization one of the nation’s top centers for organ transplantation,” she added, “and they know from experience how life-saving and life-changing organ donation can be.”

Every day, 21 people die in the U.S. while waiting for an organ, and every 10 minutes somebody new is added to a nationwide organ waiting list that is now nearly 124,000 people long. That includes more than 2,500 people who live in western Pennsylvania. According to CORE, one single organ donor can save up to eight lives, and one tissue donor can improve up to 50 lives.

AHN organized numerous events to raise awareness for organ donation during the HAP Challenge, starting with a slew of activities in April’s national Donate Life Month. Those included: Donate Life flag-raising ceremonies, participating in National Donate Life Blue & Green Day in memory and appreciation of organ donors, setting up information tables at hospitals for people to learn how to register to become a donor, an organ donor pinning ceremony to recognize living donors, a transplant recipient parade through AGH, and rose garden dedication ceremonies to honor those who have graciously saved others through organ donation.

About Allegheny Health Network
Allegheny Health Network, part of Highmark Health, is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the Western Pennsylvania region. The Network is comprised of eight hospitals, including its flagship academic medical center Allegheny General Hospital, Allegheny Valley Hospital, Canonsburg Hospital, Forbes Hospital, Jefferson Hospital, Saint Vincent Hospital, Westfield Memorial Hospital and West Penn Hospital; a research institute; Health + Wellness Pavilions; an employed physician organization, home and community based health services and a group purchasing organization. The Network employs approximately 17,000 people and has more than 2,400 physicians on its medical staff. The Network also serves as a clinical campus for Temple University School of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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Doug Braunsdorf
Allegheny Health Network
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