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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Westchester Medical Center Health Network Staff, Patients and Families Celebrate Donate Life Month

Events raise awareness about organ donation and honor donors and transplant team members

news item

Westchester Medical Center Health Network Staff, Patients and Families Celebrate Donate Life Month

 Events raise awareness about organ donation and honor donors and transplant team members

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Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), home to the Hudson Valley region’s only transplant center, in Valhalla, will welcome former patients and families impacted by the gift of organ donation back to WMCHealth campuses in April to observe national Donate Life Month and raise awareness about the critical need for organ donation both locally and nationally.

Westchester Medical Center, the flagship of WMCHealth, performs heart, kidney, liver, bone marrow and corneal transplants. The program has transplanted more 2,400 kidneys and nearly 850 livers in its history. More than 250 lifesavings heart transplants have been performed at Westchester Medical Center.  Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of WMCHealth, has pediatric kidney, liver, bone marrow and corneal transplant programs.

“As the Hudson Valley’s only transplant center, Westchester Medical Center’s dedicated team of transplant specialists is committed to saving the lives of patients for whom an organ transplant is the only option,” said Alan Gass, MD, Medical Director of Cardiac Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support at Westchester Medical Center. “New York State has the highest number of people waiting for organ transplants and is the last in the nation in the rate of organ donation. Organ donation is critical, and one person’s donations have the potential to save up to eight lives.”

In observance of National Donate Life Month, WMCHealth hospitals across the Hudson Valley will host events on their respective campuses to raise awareness and celebrate the contributions of those who have selflessly donated organs and those whose medical expertise makes transplantation possible.

  • Westchester Medical Center Flag Raising and Donate Life Month Kickoff, Valhalla, NY: April 2

Former patients and patient families impacted by organ donation will join Westchester Medical Center and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital staff to commemorate the beginning of Donate Life Month.

  • Nursing Grand Rounds – Tissue and Organ Donation, Suffern, NY: April 3

Nursing staff at Good Samaritan Hospital, Bon Secours Community Hospital and St. Anthony Community Hospital will participate in a Grand Rounds educational seminar about organ donation.

  • Ride for Organ Donor Awareness: April 6 (Mount Kisco, NY) & April 13 (Mamaroneck, NY)

Spin in support of organ donor awareness at Saw Mill Club in Mount Kisco on April 6 and at Healthy Fit in Mamaroneck on April 13. Proceeds benefit the living donor transplant programs at Westchester Medical Center. Contact Christina.frohlich@wmchealth.org to register.

  • National Blue and Green Day at Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, NY: April 12

Staff will dress in blue and green – the symbolic colors of organ donation – throughout the day to raise awareness.

  • MidHudson Regional Hospital Donate Life Celebration, Poughkeepsie, NY: April 12

Hospital staff and former patients will raise a ceremonial Donate Life flag in front of the hospital’s emergency department in recognition of organ donation awareness.  Staff will wear blue and green throughout the day to recognize the observance and hospital staff members involved in organ donation will share their personal experiences of working with families through the process. For more information about Donate Life Month events at MidHudson Regional Hospital, please contact Caryn Solomon at caryn.solomon@wmchealth.org or 845-431-8885.

  • Westchester Medical Center Organ Donor Celebration, Valhalla NY: April 26

A reception and ceremony will celebrate and thank the families and donors who shared the gift of life, as well as the caregivers and team members who care for transplant patients. Westchester Medical Center will also recognize Westchester County Police for the department’s efforts in organ donation awareness.

People must be at least 16 years old to register as an organ donor, with no maximum age. People 18 and older can register with the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Board of Elections or the Department of Health.  New Yorkers who are 16 or 17 years old may also join the registry when they first apply for a driver’s license, permit, or non-driver ID, but parents have the option to amend the minor’s decision prior to age 18. 

For more information about organ donation and to sign up to become a donor, visit donatelife.ny.gov. To learn more about organ transplantation at Westchester Medical Center, visit westchestermedicalcenter.com/transplant.