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2021 HAP Donate Life PA Hospital Challenge Honorees Announced

Over 100 Hospitals and Health Systems Participate in Organ Donation Awareness Initiative

Harrisburg, PA (July 27) – The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) today announced the honorees for its 2021 Donate Life Pennsylvania Hospital Challenge. The initiative encourages Pennsylvania hospitals to increase organ donation awareness and designations within their hospital and community. HAP partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the two organ procurement organizations serving Pennsylvania — the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) and Gift of Life Donor Program — to support the challenge.

Historically, HAP conducted its Donate Life Pennsylvania Hospital Challenge from January 1 to April 30 of each year. With the COVID pandemic surging and recognizing that clinicians need to be available to assist patients battling COVID, HAP had to consider alternatives for the 2021 hospital challenge. The association conducted a virtual campaign during April in conjunction with National Donate Life Month.

Even during the pandemic, hospitals showed their commitment and dedication to organ, eye and tissue, donation. In this year’s challenge, 107 hospitals participated. HAP applauds its members’ commitment to increase donation awareness and designations within their hospital and community.

Participating hospitals’ awareness and designation activities were captured on a scorecard, which was adapted for this year’s virtual format. Participating hospitals and health systems earned titanium, platinum, gold, silver and bronze level recognitions. HAP honors those who dedicated significant effort to drawing attention to the need for organ, eye and tissue donors and encouraging new donor registrations throughout the challenge.

“We continue to be proud to recognize the hospital community’s commitment to organ donation,” said HAP president and CEO Andy Carter. “It takes great partners like the Pennsylvania Department of Health, CORE and Gift of Life Donor Program to support this awareness project that continues to be successful each year. Organ donation is a way to honor those loved ones we have lost, while continuing their legacies through the most selfless gift.”

The collaborating organizations recognize the top three hospitals and health systems in each organ procurement organization’s service area of the state. CORE covers western Pennsylvania, Gift of Life Donor Program covers eastern Pennsylvania.

The top performers of the 2021 HAP Donate Life Pennsylvania Hospital Challenge are:

CORE Top Performers

Top Health Systems: First Place: Allegheny Health Network, Second Place: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Third Place: Excela Health System

Top Hospitals: First Place: AHN Allegheny Valley Hospital, Second Place: AHN West Penn Hospital, Third Place: AHN Allegheny General Hospital

Gift of Life Donor Program Top Performers

Top Health Systems: First Place: Jefferson Northeast, Second Place: UPMC North Central PA, Third Place: Main Line Health System

Top Hospitals: First Place: Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Second Place: UPMC Williamsport, Third Place: Jefferson Torresdale Hospital

A full list of hospital designations resulting from the challenge, and more information about the scoring process, can be found at HAP’s website.

“We extend our extreme appreciation to all the hospitals and health systems for their exemplary work in increasing awareness about the life-saving process of organ donation,” Pennsylvania Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam said. “These organizations have been able to adapt to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, while still supporting and promoting the Donate Life Pennsylvania Hospital Challenge. Organ and tissue transplants have become an integral part of health care in the state and across the nation and have the potential to save many lives. We are grateful for our partners who continue to spread these messages and work every day to further our mission of creating a healthy Pennsylvania for all.”

“For more than 40 years, CORE has relied on our hospital partners to make our life-saving mission possible,” said Susan Stuart, president and CEO of CORE. “That has never been truer than in the past year. Even with the challenges presented by COVID-19, western Pennsylvania’s hospitals never wavered from their commitment to organ, tissue and cornea donation. Their participation in this challenge during a truly unprecedented year is proof of that unwavering commitment. Thank you to our hospital partners, and to Andy Carter and his exceptional team at HAP, who amidst a global pandemic, further strengthened the link between donation and transplantation, and gave CORE the privilege to care for more donors and donor families than ever before. Together, we brought light to a very dark time.”

“Gift of Life Donor Program applauds the extraordinary commitment of HAP and our hospital partners to continue championing donation while facing the tremendous pressures of fighting COVID-19,” said Howard M. Nathan, president & CEO, Gift of Life Donor Program.   “During the past year, our hospital partners remained steadfastly dedicated to offering donation as an option to save lives and support grieving families.  Many have shared with us that donation and transplantation provided them with signs of hope, compassion and healing amid the many challenges of the pandemic. Thanks to our hospitals ongoing dedication to advancing our life-saving mission, HAP’s commitment and partnership, and the exceptional generosity of our community, Pennsylvania continues to be a leader in organ donation.”

ABOUT HAP: HAP is a statewide membership services organization that advocates for nearly 240 Pennsylvania acute and specialty care, primary care, subacute care, long-term care, home health, and hospice providers, as well as the patients and communities they serve. Additional information about HAP is available online at haponline.org.

ABOUT CORE: The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 57 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the United States, serving more than five million people in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. CORE coordinates the recovery and matching of organs, tissues and corneas for transplant within their service region, and works tirelessly to create a culture of donation within the hospitals and communities they serve. CORE’s mission is to Save and Heal lives through donation, ultimately ending the deaths of those on the transplant waiting list, while maintaining integrity for the donation process, dignity for the donors, and compassion for their families. CORE is a winner of the 2019 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, a presidential award that recognizes nonprofits for their innovation and excellence. For more information, visit core.org or call 1-800-DONORS-7.

ABOUT GIFT OF LIFE DONOR PROGRAM: Gift of Life Donor Program is the non-profit, federally designated organ procurement organization, working with 128 acute care hospitals and 15 transplant centers to serve 11.3 million people in the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. Thanks to its compassionate community, for the past 13 years, Gift of Life has coordinated the most organ donors in the United States. Its annual donation rate, most recently 55 organ donors-per-million-population, ranks among the highest in the world. Since 1974, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 53,500 life-saving organs for transplant, and more than 2 million tissue transplants have resulted from the generosity of donors and their families. One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people, and a tissue donor can improve the lives of more than 100 others. For more information or to register, visit donors1.org.

ABOUT DONATE LIFE PENNSYLVANIA: Donate Life Pennsylvania is a collaborative initiative between the Pennsylvania departments of Health, Education and Transportation and Pennsylvania’s two organ procurement organizations, the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) and Gift of Life Donor Program (GOL). It is funded by residents of Pennsylvania through voluntary contributions included with driver’s license renewals, vehicle registrations and state income tax filings or direct donations to the Governor Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund in care of the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Trust Fund contributions are used to educate Pennsylvanians, build awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation, and increase the number of people who sign up to become organ donors on their driver’s license or state identification card. More information is available at donatelifepa.org or facebook.com/DonateLifePennsylvania.