HOLYOKE MEDICAL CENTER EARNS NATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR PROMOTING ORGAN, EYE, AND TISSUE DONATION
Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) has earned national recognition as a Let Life Bloom Platinum Award recipient for its efforts to increase organ, eye, and tissue donor registrations through the Workplace Partnership for Life (WPFL) Hospital Organ Donation Campaign. The WPFL is a national initiative that unites the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the organ donation community with workplaces across the nation in spreading the word about the importance of donation.
The WPFL Hospital Organ Donation Campaign challenges hospitals and healthcare organizations to “let life bloom” by educating their staff, patients, visitors, and communities about the critical need for organ, eye, and tissue donation, including offering opportunities to register as organ donors. HMC earned points for conducting awareness and registry activities between October 2019 and April 2020 and prompting new donor registrations during that time period.
Various HMC events, which earned “points” included:
- Donate Life Rose Parade Float Submission – hospitals are asked to submit a special message on a rose vial used in the annual Donate Life Rose Bowl Parade Float.
- Hosting a Donor Sabbath recognition event: an interfaith celebration of life and thanksgiving. It is a special time for people to learn about the critical shortages of organs and tissue and to celebrate the greatest blessing of all – LIFE.
- Promoting Donate Life posters and promotional materials inside the hospital and on social media.
- Education on Donate Life during all nursing staff orientations and training days.
- Participating in a Walk of Honor: The final walk a donor family takes with their loved one from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to the Operating Room (OR) as they become an organ donor. Hospital staff line the hallway to support the family and show appreciation to the donation of life. HMC held a walk in memory of Kyle Parzyc on December 13, 2019.
“Three years ago we had an opportunity for improvement related to raising awareness about the benefits and importance of donation among our staff and within our community. Together, we worked to challenge the status quo, and with the amazing partnership and support from New England Donor Services we have successfully changed culture and have risen to the level of receiving the Let Life Bloom Platinum Recognition Award for two consecutive years,” said Colleen Desai, Chief Nursing Officer at Holyoke Medical Center. “We could not have achieved this level of recognition had it not been for a team of dedicated staff professionals who share in the passion of donation and were open to change. They accepted the challenge to meet and exceed quality improvement benchmarks, and were willing and able to continue the conversation about donation with their peers, patients, friends, families, and community members. This award belongs to our awesome staff for championing to improve the lives of others through the advocacy of donation.”
The 2020 Hospital Campaign efforts added 59,662 registrations to state registries, including registrations from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since its inception in 2011, the campaign has generated 552,026 registrations as well as united donation advocates at hospitals with representatives from their local organ procurement organizations, Donate Life America affiliates, and state and regional hospital associations.
Every ten minutes, another person is added to the organ transplant waiting list. The National Waiting List has over 112,000 men, women and children on it. In 2019, 39,718 organ transplants were performed in the U.S. Twenty people die each day waiting for an organ transplant in the U.S. Although 90% of U.S. adults support organ donation, only 60% are actually signed up as donors. One person can save eight lives and one tissue donor can enhance the lives of up to 75 people. All these statistics reaffirm the critical and growing need for registered organ, eye, and tissue donors.