LUTHERAN RECEIVES ORGAN DONOR MEDAL OF HONOR
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LUTHERAN MEDICAL CENTER RECEIVES NATIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR FOR COMMITMENT TO ORGAN DONATION
The only Brooklyn hospital to be honored for helping raise organ donation rates for the second year in a row
November 9, 2007, Brooklyn, New York
Lutheran Medical Center was presented with a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Medal of Honor on October 9 for substantially raising life-saving organ donor rates of eligible donors at its facility. The medal ceremony took place during a meeting of the Third National Learning Congress on Organ Donation and Transplantation in Nashville, Tennessee.
For the second year in a row Lutheran Medical Center was the only Brooklyn Hospital to be honored for achieving and sustaining an organ donation rate of 75 percent. In its effort to save lives through donation and transplantation, Lutheran worked closely with the New York Organ Donor Network, the federally designated nonprofit organ procurement organization serving the region.
"The Lutheran Medical Center organ donor council achieved a donation rate of 75 percent or more of eligible donors," said Anthony Geraci, M.D., chair, Lutheran Organ Donor Council and director of medical and quality research at Lutheran Medical Center. "On average, each donor provides three to four lifesaving organs to someone in need. In fact, just one organ donor, when all the organs are medically suitable, can save up to eight people."
Out of approximately 3,000 hospitals nationwide, 392 hospitals merited the HHS Medal of Honor. Lutheran Medical Center is one of only 14 hospitals in the greater New York metropolitan area—New York City, Long Island and the northern counties—to be honored by HHS. This year's award was based on data compiled between August 2005 and June 2007.
One of the nation's most pressing public health issues is the widening gap between the supply and demand for organs and tissues. To raise awareness about the vital importance of organ and tissue donation Health and Human Services created the "Organ Transplantation Breakthrough Collaborative" in 2003. The medals were awarded against a background of increased organ donation rates around the country. From 2002 to 2006, the annual total of donors increased 29.6 percent. Last year in the greater New York metropolitan area, there were a record 319 donors, compared with a low of 199 in 2001, and 262 donors in 2004.
There are nearly 100,000 patients waiting for organ transplants in the U.S., and 7,000 of them are in the greater New York metropolitan area. Each day, on average, 17 people die because of the organ shortage. For information about organ, eye and tissue donation, and to enroll online in the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry, visit www.donatelifeny.org.
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