Allegheny Health Network Celebrates National Donate Life Month

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All seven Allegheny Health Network (AHN) hospitals in Pennsylvania will come together in April to recognize the significant and growing need for more people to register as organ donors with several special events planned across the Network to celebrate National Donate Life Month.

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The lives of thousands of people are saved every year because someone makes the selfless choice to become an organ donor.

All seven Allegheny Health Network (AHN) hospitals in Pennsylvania will come together on two separate days in April to recognize the significant and growing need for more people to register as organ donors. Those special occasions are just part of a variety of events planned across the Network to celebrate National Donate Life Month.

On “Step Up and Give a Hand Day,” scheduled for April 4, Allegheny General, Allegheny Valley, Canonsburg, Forbes, Jefferson, Saint Vincent and West Penn hospitals will encourage employees and visitors to put a colorful hand print on a display and pledge their support for organ donation. Then, for National Donate Life Blue & Green Day on April 21, each AHN hospital will encourage employees to wear blue-and-green-colored clothing in memory and appreciation of organ donors. Additionally, each AHN hospital will host special flag-raising ceremonies on various dates throughout the month to commemorate the precious gift of life provided by organ donors.

“The lives of thousands of people are saved every year because someone makes the selfless choice to become an organ donor,” said AHN President and CEO Cynthia Hundorfean. “We look forward to coming together as one network for these special events that will honor those who gave the gift of life, while also calling attention to the need for more people to register as organ donors.”

According to Pittsburgh’s Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE), 22 people die in the U.S. every day while awaiting an organ, and every 10 minutes somebody new is added to a nationwide organ waiting list that is now more than 118,000 people long. That includes more than 8,000 people who live in Pennsylvania.

AHN’s commitment to organ, tissue and cornea donation resulted in 111 lives being saved by organs donated at its hospitals in 2016. Additionally, there were 123 tissue donors from AHN hospitals, each with the ability to heal and save up to 75 people’s lives, or potentially resulting in up to 9,225 tissue transplants. Another 117 AHN donors provided the gift of sight through corneal transplantation.

In addition to a slate of events planned for Donate Life Month and beyond, AHN has teamed up with the Pirate Parrot to raise awareness for organ donation. The beloved Pittsburgh Pirates’ mascot will be featured in newspaper ads and hospital signage starting in April to promote organ donor registration. AHN and CORE will partner on National Donate Life Month recognition day at PNC Park on April 23, when representatives from AHN and CORE will have organ donation information available at a table outside of the park. Also that day, a father who donated a kidney to his daughter at AGH will join her for the ceremonial first pitch before the Pirates face the New York Yankees.

AHN’s complete list of Donate Life Month-related events includes:

  •     Tuesday, April 4, “Step Up and Give a Hand Day” (all hospitals)
  •     Thursday, April 6, Canonsburg Hospital flag raising (1 p.m.)
  •     Friday, April 7, Jefferson Hospital flag raising (1 p.m.)
  •     Monday, April 10, Allegheny General Hospital flag raising (11 a.m.)
  •     Wednesday, April 12, Forbes Hospital flag raising (10 a.m.); Allegheny Valley Hospital flag raising (1 p.m.)
  •     Friday, April 14, Saint Vincent Hospital flag raising (10 a.m.); Saint Vincent donor/recipient parade through hospital units to celebrate the gift of life and thank the many dedicated healthcare professionals who make transplantation possible
  •     Friday, April 21, National Donate Life Blue & Green Day (all hospitals); Jefferson Hospital donor/recipient parade
  •     Wednesday, April 26,, West Penn Hospital flag raising (9 a.m.) and rose garden ceremony to honor those who have graciously saved others through organ donation
  •     Monday, May 1, Allegheny General Hospital donor/recipient parade, followed by rose garden ceremony
  •     Thursday, May 25, Allegheny General Hospital living donor pinning ceremony to celebrate the unique bond of life that unites kidney donors and their recipients

AGH is ranked #1 in western Pennsylvania for overall organ transplant quality, according to Quantros Inc.’s 2017 CareChex® National Quality Rating Database for 2013-2015. Those market claims are based on the CareChex 2017 Composite Quality Scores and Ratings™ for acute care hospitals serving the combined statistical area (CSA) of Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton.

About 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. 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, WV, 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 http://www.core.org or call 1-800-DONORS-7.

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 2,800 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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