April 12, 2023
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – On April 6, UPMC Williamsport raised the Donate Life flag to signify the start of Donate Life Month. Every April, National Donate Life Month is celebrated across the U.S. to raise awareness about organ, eye, and tissue donation; encourage Americans to register as donors; and honor those who have given the gift of life.
“UPMC is a leader in organ transplantation services, and across the system we have performed more than 20,000 organ transplant surgery procedures, including liver, kidney, pancreas, small bowel, heart, lung, and multiple organ transplants,” said Patti Jackson-Gehris, president, UPMC in North Central Pa. “While we do not perform the surgeries here in our region, we do offer evaluation clinics for pre- and post-surgical care for kidney and liver transplantation which helps ease the burden of travel for patients. This flag raising is one of the many ways that this month, and all year round, we honor those that have saved lives through the gift of life, show our commitment to the cause by ensuring these lifesaving services are accessible to those we serve, and encourage everyone in the community to register as organ donors.”
There are over 106,000 people waiting for a transplant in the U.S., with more than 7,000 in Pennsylvania alone. Registering as an organ donor is a selfless act with the potential to save up to eight lives. Every person who registers to be an organ donor is giving those on the waiting list hope for a second changes at life.
“Donors are at the center of everything we do in transplant,” said Amit Tevar, M.D., surgical director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program, UPMC’s Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute in Pittsburgh. “In 2022, this region had six living donors provide a kidney to those in need. The impact of one donor has a ripple effect that potentially offers the gift of life to eight others through organ donation as well as tissue donation which can save or enhance the lives of 75 others. It’s truly amazing to be able to work in a field of medicine where such a simple act can benefit so many in such an impactful way.”
To learn more about organ donation or to register to become a donor with UPMC Transplant Services, visit UPMC.com/DonateLife.
Caption: Representatives from UPMC and Gift of Life gathered at UPMC Williamsport to raise the Donate Life flag in celebration of Donate Life Month. Pictured from left: Corinne McLaughlin, co-chair, UPMC’s Organ and Tissue Donation Council; Christina Sarge, hospital services coordinator, Gift of Life; Heidi Weeder, co-chair, UPMC’s Organ and Tissue Donation Council; Susan Duchman, chief nursing executive, UPMC in North Central Pa., Amit Tevar, M.D., surgical director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program, UPMC’s Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute in Pittsburgh; Jen Stehman, senior director, Human Resources, UPMC in North Central Pa.; and Patti Jackson-Gehris, president, UPMC in North Central Pa.
Caption: The Donate Life flag flies below the U.S. flag outside the main entrance at UPMC Williamsport. The Donate Flag will fly for the entire month of April in support of UPMC’s participation in Donate Life Month.