Monday, 19 April 2010 08:44
Arthur A. Gianelli, president/CEO of the NuHealth System, announced support for the New York Organ Donor Network’s donor registry drive during National Donate Life Month. “Save lives. Sign up to be an organ donor. That is the message from the New York Organ Donor Network during April’s National Donate Life Month, and Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC) is lending its support to the month-long initiative,” said Gianelli. “Organ donation and transplantation are vital elements in helping us fulfill our role in this lifesaving mission.”
The Donor Network is calling upon New Yorkers to add their names to the state’s organ, eye and tissue donor registry. Despite a 14 percent increase in organ donation from deceased donors in the greater New York metropolitan area in 2009, the New York State Donate Life Registry has just two million names—13 percent of the population age 18 and over. This ranks New York behind most states where it is not uncommon for 60 percent or more of the population has signed to be donors.
Despite the spike in the number of deceased organ donors in the New York metro area last year, there are currently more than 7,700 people waiting for organ transplants in the region. Across the nation, the waiting list has grown to more than 106,000.
Each day in the United States, around 18 people die because of the shortage of donated organs. At the same time, a new name is added to the national waiting list approximately every 11 minutes.
“The singular goal for National Donate Life Month is to have thousands of individuals add their names to the New York State Donate Life Registry,” said Elaine Berg, president and CEO of the Donor Network. “I am sure that as New Yorkers, we can agree that trailing the nation in terms of registrations is completely unacceptable. Donate Life Month offers us the opportunity to turn the situation around by flooding the registry with signatures.”
“The bottom line is that so many lives that can be saved are at stake,” said Ms. Berg. “Every life lost is so unnecessary, and each tragic situation impacts countless people. It means grandchildren never meeting a grandparent; a parent missing a child’s wedding; a young child’s life ending almost before it has begun. By signing the registry, New Yorkers can empower themselves, actually take control of their own lives, by offering to help others.”
April is designated nationally as a time to promote organ, tissue, blood and bone marrow donation awareness. This special month was established by the United States Division of Transplantation.
Founded in 1978, the New York Organ Donor Network is the second largest of the nation’s 58 nonprofit, federally designated organ procurement organizations. The Donor Network is responsible for the recovery of organs, eyes and tissues for transplantation, and public and professional education efforts in the greater New York metropolitan area. It serves a highly diverse population in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Westchester and Pike County, PA. The organization partners with 10 transplant centers, more than 100 hospitals, as well as several eye and tissue banks. The Donor Network is fully accredited by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and it is a member of the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS).
The registry is a confidential database administered by the New York State Department of Health. By enrolling in the Donate Life Registry, New Yorkers document their legal consent to become donors. Once they have enrolled in the registry, individuals are given the opportunity to be specific in terms of what organs and tissues they wish to donate, and they can also elect to donate organs to research.
New Yorkers can enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry at www.DonateLifeNY.org.
NuHealth is a Long Island health care organization delivering essential medical care and disease and lifestyle management to everyone at every stage of life. Also known as Nassau Health Care Corporation, NuHealth is a public benefit corporation managing the operations of Nassau University Medical Center, A. Holly Patterson Extended Care and a network of Family Health Centers.