Seven Barnabas Health facilities across the state, including Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, simultaneously raised the Donate Life flag recently to pay tribute to organ and tissue donors and to raise awareness of the life-saving and life-restoring value of organ and tissue donation.
Donor families, organ recipients, community leaders and health care professionals gathered with team members of NJ Sharing Network in a series of heartfelt ceremonies, which marked April as Donate Life Month.
“Barnabas Health is extremely proud to participate in Donate Life Month at each of our facilities to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and to honor our donors, recipients and their families,” said Barry Ostrowsky, president and chief executive officer of Barnabas Health. “These donor families responded to personal tragedy with life-saving generosity.”
Barnabas Health facilities are Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston; Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville; Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark; Community Medical Center, Toms River; Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch; Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center, Livingston; and Kimball Medical Center, Lakewood.
At each facility, dozens gathered to raise awareness. They heard from organ recipients able to live fully again because of a transplant. They also heard from donor families who said the decision to donate organs that saved others provided a measure of solace and comfort. Local officials also attended several of the events.
Joe Roth, president & CEO, NJ Sharing Network, thanked health care professionals throughout the Barnabas Health system for their hard work and dedication to organ and tissue donation.
“Without our hospital partners, without our donor families and without the commitment of so many people we do not exist,” Roth said. “We are able to continue with our life-saving and life-restoring work because so many people – many of them gathered today throughout Barnabas Health System – believe and support our mission.”
Nearly 5,000 people currently are awaiting life-saving organs in New Jersey. In 2012, more than 370 heart, lung, kidney and pancreas transplant surgeries were performed at Barnabas Health facilities: Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark.
Anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can sign up to be a donor. In-person organ donor registration is available at local Motor Vehicle Commission agencies.
To learn more about organ and tissue donation or to get involved with NJ Sharing Network call 1-800-742-7365 or visit www.NJSharing Network. org to register as an organ and tissue donor.
For further information about the Barnabas Health Transplant Programs, please visit www.BarnabasHealth.org.