(Torrington, CT) – April is National “Donate Life” Month, a perfect time for Charlotte Hungerford Hospital and LifeChoice Donor Services to come together to celebrate those who have participated and registered in this lifesaving organ and tissue donation program. CHH staff and LifeChoice representatives held a special ceremony April 1st to raise a new “Donate Life” flag on the hospital’s main campus flagpole, honor past donors, and promote donor awareness and participation.
“We are pleased to partner with our colleagues at LifeChoice Donor Services to help fulfill the wishes of individuals and family members who wish to make lifesaving donations to those in need.” said Donna Feinstein, CHH Director of Nursing.
Lifechoice is an Organ procurement organization (OPO) that facilitates the organ and tissue donation process for CHH. OPOs are responsible for honoring an individual’s decision to donate when they have joined a donor registry and providing compassionate support to families. OPOs also evaluate potential donors for medical suitability, assist with the placement of organs for transplant, and facilitate the recovery of both organs and tissues.
After the ceremony they gathered in the hospital Cafeteria where Lifechoice and Beth Bradley, a donor heart recipient, were on hand to share their experiences and give out information about the importance of signing up to be a donor.
“I would not be here if it weren’t for my donor. I am so grateful for the opportunity to receive a second chance at life.” said Beth Bradley.
The new flag will fly with the Connecticut State Flag, and be raised and lowered in a special ceremony each time an organ or tissue donation is made at the family’s request.
“Every day in April, people across the U.S. make a special effort to celebrate the tremendous generosity of those who have saved lives by becoming organ, tissue, marrow, and blood donors and to encourage more Americans to follow their fine example.” said Chas MacKenzie, Lifechoice Donor Services Director of Education and Hospital Services.
Checking off the donor box on the DMV license form will not specify a donor’s wishes. To document specific wishes, a person must register through an organ donation service such as LifeChoice which can be done online.
For more information about the organ donation process or to register, visit www.lifechoiceOPO.org
Organ procurement organizations, transplant centers, national donation organizations and other organizations sponsor special awareness events and donor recognition ceremonies to promote donation awareness and registration. National Donate Life Month was established in 2003.
LifeChoice is the federally designated, non-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) for six counties in Connecticut and three counties in Western Massachusetts, with a combined population of 2.3 million people. The OPO serves 23 acute care hospitals for organ, tissue donation and two organ transplant hospitals, Hartford Hospital in Hartford, CT and Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA.
Charlotte Hungerford Hospital is a 109 bed, general acute care hospital located in Torrington, Connecticut, that serves as a regional health care resource for 100,000 residents of Litchfield County and Northwest Connecticut. CHH offers personalized attention from an expert team of caregivers and physicians that utilize advanced technology and clinical partnerships in a convenient, safe and comfortable patient environment. One Thousand Caregivers, One Job, Your Health. Visit www.charlottehungertford.org for information.