Parkridge Medical Center and Parkridge East Hospital announced that they will fly the “Donate Life Flag” on their campuses during the month of April. The facilities are partnering with Tennessee Donor Services to recognize April as National Donate Life Month.
Parkridge and Parkridge East will join thousands of hospitals and organizations across the nation in the Donate Life Flags Across America program. The flags are part of efforts to honor the hundreds of thousands of donors, donor family members and recipients. Organizers also hope to motivate people to consider the benefits of organ donation and join the Donate Life Tennessee Donor Registry.
“Increasing the number of registered organ, eye and tissue donors – to save and enhance lives – is part of our daily work,” said Bridgette Fredenberg, Community Services director for Tennessee Donor Services said. “The month of April honors the lives of those who have given and received, while also providing an opportunity to renew our commitment to saving and enhancing lives through donation and transplantation."
In 2012, 241 Tennesseans gave the gift of life, resulting in 683 lives being saved.
“We are proud to support the work of Tennessee Donor Services,” said Deborah Deal, associate chief nursing officer for Parkridge Medical Center. “Our participation in Donate Life Month is a way for us to share our commitment with the wider community.”
“There are now over 110 million registered donors in the US with close to two million in the state of Tennessee, however, the number of people in need of transplants continues to rise. The solution to decreasing this gap is continued public education about the lifesaving effects of donation and transplantation,” Ms. Fredenberg said.
Right now in the United States there are more than 117,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, over 2,500 of those live in Tennessee. Every 18 minutes a patient on the waiting list will die, and every 10 minutes a new name will be added.
Tennesseans can register to be an organ donor by simply Checking YES when applying for or renewing their driver’s license. A small red heart is placed on the driver license. Residents can also sign up online by visiting www.donatelifetn.org.
As of March 27, 1,831,280 Tennesseans have signed up on the Donate Life Tennessee Organ & Tissue Donor Registry either online or through the Department of Safety. On average, nearly 3,500 people are added each week.
While the rate falls far short of nationwide goal to register 50% of each state’s licensed drivers, Tennessee’s registry is growing quickly. Donate Life Tennessee is a non-profit, state-authorized organ and tissue donor registry, administered by the state’s two organ procurement organizations (OPO), responsible for facilitating the donation process in Tennessee: Tennessee Donor Services and Mid-South Transplant Foundation. The Donate Life Registry assures that all personal information is kept confidential and stored in a secure database, accessible only to authorized OPO personnel.
Ken Metteauer, CFO; Denise Fugatt, Tennessee Donor Services; Jarrett Millsaps, CEO; Lorraine Rivers, RN; Lisa Wallace, Associate Chief Nursing Officer