UM Shore Regional Health Recognizes National Donate Life Month
University of Maryland Shore Regional Health (UM SRH) celebrated National Donate Life Month during April, honoring organ donors and bringing awareness to saving or enhancing lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.
Activities included raising the Donate Life flag at the entrance of Shore Medical Center at Easton and remarks from William Huffner, MD, UM SRH's Chief Medical Officer, about the meaning of organ donation and expressing gratitude to patients and families who gave the gift of life in 2023.
"Local donors save local lives," Dr. Huffner said. "In Maryland, there are more than 2,700 people currently on the transplant waiting list. One organ donor can save up to eight people and one tissue donor may enhance the lives of up to 75 people."
Debbi McRann, Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer of Infinite Legacy, expressed gratitude to donor families and to UM SRH; Deacon Steve Gunther, Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Parish, ended the assembly with prayer.
In partnership with Infinite Legacy, a non-profit organization that collaborates and facilitates donation and transplantation in area hospitals, UM SRH facilitated three organ donations in 2022, saving 11 lives, and 13 tissue donations, improving the lives of almost 1,000 patients. In Maryland, the thoughtful generosity of 45 deceased organ donors has led to dozens of transplants in 2023.
"Thanks to the generosity of donors and their families, and the dedication of health care and transplant professionals, thousands of lives are saved or vastly improved through organ and tissue donation," said Chris Wright, Hospital Donation Coordinator. "Our donor families are comforted in knowing that, even in death, their loved one is helping others."
"At Shore Regional Health, we are committed to caring for patients from birth to death, and also to those who make the renewal of life possible for others," said Ken Kozel, President and CEO, UM SRH. "We support and stand behind the families and loved ones of these patients who have selflessly donated life so that others may have a second chance at it."
During the past 30 years, UM Shore Regional Health has facilitated over 40 organ donations and 133 tissue donations.
To register as an organ donor, visit the Maryland Vehicle Administration while obtaining or renewing a driver's license or state ID, or visit Infinite Legacy at infinitelegacy.org.