UTICA — St. Elizabeth Medical Center was among a group of hospitals nationwide recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for reaching gold, silver and bronze level of recognition for public education about donation and state donor registries.
St. Elizabeth conducted awareness and registry campaigns to educate staff, patients, visitors and community members about the need for organ, eye and tissue donors and, by doing so, increased the number of potential donors on the state’s donor registry. The hospital earned points for each activity planned between September 2012 and May 2013 and was awarded gold recognition through the Workplace Partnership for Life Hospital Campaign, a program launched in 2011 by HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration. Of the 924 hospitals and transplant centers participating in the campaign, 322 were awarded recognition, with St. Elizabeth being one of 131 hospitals that received gold-level recognition.
The campaign is an effort of HRSA’s Workplace Partnership for Life to mobilize the nation’s hospitals to increase the number of people in the country who are registered organ, eye and tissue donors. Currently, there are over 119,000 people waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. On average, 17 people die every day due to lack of organs available for transplantation.
St. Elizabeth Medical Center worked with the Center for Donation & Transplant in Albany on the campaign to coordinate a number of events, such as posting donation information, displaying posters, flying a Donate Life Flag for all donors, celebrating April Donate Life Month and hosting several donor-registry enrollment events in the hospital and throughout the community.
To date, the campaign has registered a total of 221,834 donors nationally. Through St. Elizabeth’s efforts, nearly 1,000 new names have been added to the state donor registry since 2011.