HaysMed: Champions will Give Hope, Share Life for National Donate Life Month
Hays, Kansas – In 2018, organ donors saved 818 lives in Kansas and western Missouri, more than ever before for a single year. To keep that momentum going strong, HaysMed, part of The University of Kansas Health System, is honoring National Donate Life Month in April by engaging an influential group of people: its employees.
The initiative – part of a regional awareness campaign in partnership with Midwest Transplant Network and its Green Ribbon Champions – aims to increase the number of registered organ donors in Kansas and Missouri.
According to Jan Finn, Midwest Transplant Network’s chief executive officer, nearly 171,000 new or renewed donors joined the Kansas and Missouri donor registries in 2018. That’s an outstanding accomplishment, she says, but the need for organs still vastly exceeds the number of registered donors. To increase registrations, the organ procurement organization introduced its Green Ribbon Campaign in 2018 and is partnering with hospitals and transplant centers again to broaden the outreach.
“In our region of Kansas and western Missouri, there are more than 125,000 hospital and transplant center employees, and each of them can be a green ribbon champion by inspiring others to give hope and share life,” said Finn. “As transplant waiting lists continue to grow, the voices of health care professionals will be powerful in spreading this lifesaving message.”
“We are fortunate that organ donations at HaysMed have contributed positively to other people’s lives.” said Eddie Herrman, CEO. “Two people were both given a second chance at life with the gift of a kidney transplant. The donations also included the gift of skin that can be used in reconstructive surgery and liver and intestine tissue that will be used for the purposes of medical research. Patients are very receptive to being organ donors. The more that agree to be organ donors, the more others can benefit from their generous decision”
HaysMed has been recognized for several honors for organ donation for 2018. They were awarded the excellence in both organ and tissue donation for having donations that resulted in 14 organs transplanted with 12 lives saved.
In addition to motivating hospital employees to join the state’s donor registry, the campaign encourages them to serve as advocates among their families, friends and the general public. Key points for educating the public and creating awareness include:
- Everyone can be a registered donor regardless of age or medical history.
- A commitment to donation never interferes with medical care. Saving the registered donor’s life is always top priority whenever someone becomes sick or injured.
Joining the donor registry is a simple process. Individuals can register online at sharelifemidwest.com or at the DMV when obtaining or renewing a driver’s license
or ID card.