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Gift of Life’s Organ Donation and Transplantation Summit

A Regional Collaboration Aimed at Improving Outcomes

November 27, 2018


More than 100 physicians, hospital administrators, nurses, and other health care partners from 47 hospitals gathered on Oct. 30th for Gift of Life’s “Organ Donation and Transplantation Summit: A Regional Collaboration Aimed at Improving Outcomes.”

The Summit is part of Gift of Life’s Donation and Transplantation Improvement Initiative that launched in May 2017. The initiative aims to bring the region’s healthcare centers together to share best practices in hopes of increasing donation rates and saving more lives.

The event gave professionals from the tri-state area the opportunity to learn from national experts in the field and other hospitals as they work to optimize each and every donation opportunity.

Currently, there are approximately 114,000 people waiting for organs in the United States. Nationally, 20 people die waiting for a transplant every day. In Gift of Life’s region, 5,200 men, women and children are now waiting for life-saving transplants.

The fourth annual Summit featured speakers at two locations linked by video conference: Gift of Life’s Philadelphia headquarters and a satellite site in Hershey, PA. Experts discussed the most advanced protocols for determining brain death and the importance of consistent communication among health care facilities throughout the region and country.

Experts Share Best Practices, Innovative Research

Jennifer Axelband, DO, Medical Director of Neurologic Critical Care and Education Medical Director of Critical Care at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem, led a presentation on effective family conversations and preserving donation opportunities.

Galen V. Henderson, MD, Director, Neurocritical Care and Neuroscience, Intensive Care Unit, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, Matthew D. Vibbert, MD, Director, Neurocritical Care Fellowship, Director Neuroscience Critical Care, Thomas Jefferson University and Matthew P. Kirschen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, participated in a special plenary session on death by neurologic criteria. All three physicians shared different practices and perspectives.

David S. Goldberg, MD, MSCE, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, presented his research findings from a successful medical trial focused on increasing access to transplants by using kidneys from deceased donors who had the Hepatitis C virus and then giving recipients medicine to eradicate the virus.

To view the agenda for this session, CLICK HERE.

To view a list of featured speakers, CLICK HERE.

In addition, transplant recipient athletes from Gift of Life’s Team Philadelphia presented a special medal to each participant at the Summit’s conclusion.

The next Summit will be held April 25, 2019, at Gift of Life’s Philadelphia headquarters and a satellite location in Hershey, PA.