News from Catholic Health Services
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Colleen Valdini
Public & External Affairs Manager
VP, Public & External Affairs
Phone: (631) 376-4104
Date: April 5, 2010
West Islip, NY – Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center supports the goal of accelerating the enrollment rate in New York, which trails registry sign-ups in most other states.
“Save lives. Sign up to be an organ donor,” is the message from the New York Organ Donor Network during April’s National Donate Life Month, and Good Samaritan supported the month-long initiative providing educational material to the public. The Medical Center reached out to residents, workers and visitors, encouraging individuals aged 18 and over to register on the New York state Donate Life Registry. In an ongoing campaign region-wide, the Donor Network hopes to gain one million new sign-ups by the end of 2012.
The Donor Network is asking 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 increase 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.”
“Each organ and tissue donor saves or improves the lives of as many as 50 people. Giving the "Gift of Life" may lighten the grief of the donor's own family. Many donor families say that knowing other lives have been saved helps them cope with their tragic loss,” said Good Samaritan’s Director of Critical Care and Emergency Department Thomas Nolan, RN.
“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.
The registry is a confidential database of legal consent for donation and it is administered by New York state’s Department of Health. It is only accessed by authorized personnel of the New York Organ Donor Network and tissue and eye banks when there is a potential donor. New Yorkers can register at any Department of Motor Vehicles office or online at www.SaveLivesNewYork.org. For more information, please call, (631) 376-4444.
Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center is a 537-bed (including 100 nursing home beds), voluntary, not-for-profit hospital located in West Islip. The Medical Center, which has 4,400 employees and more than 800 physicians on staff, had 29,000 patient admissions and more than 95,000 emergency room visits in 2008. Good Samaritan is a member of Catholic Health Services of Long Island. Visit our website at www.good-samaritan-hospital.org.
Good Samaritan provides approximately $30 million in community service and charity care each year. The Medical Center supplies residents with the tools necessary to maintain good health. This includes community lectures, screenings, health fairs and other community programs and services.