PITTSBURGH/ April 1, 2021/ Over the past year, people across the region have stepped up in extraordinary ways to help their neighbors. Organ donation is yet another way individuals and families have become heroes in the Pittsburgh community, and Allegheny Health Network will pay tribute to those who have given the gift of life during National Donate Life Month this April. Through a series of events across its eight hospitals, including Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), Allegheny Valley, Canonsburg, Forbes, Grove City, Jefferson, Saint Vincent and West Penn, AHN will encourage staff, patients and visitors to learn more about organ donation and how to become a registered organ donor.
According to the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE), more than 110,000 men, women and children await lifesaving organ transplants with another person added to the waiting list every ten minutes.
Through the Covid-19 pandemic, AHN has remained committed to providing life-saving care for everyone who has needed it, including organ transplant candidates. In 2020, AHN saved or improved lives through organ, tissue and cornea donations thanks to the generous gifts of more than 282 donors across its hospitals. AGH is the center for heart, liver, kidney and pancreas transplantation. Last year, AGH’s surgical team performed 23 heart, 42 liver and 113 kidney transplants.
“Allegheny Health Network has a longstanding legacy of providing patients with high-quality, compassionate transplant care. Donate Life Month is an important time for our Network to come together to raise awareness for organ donation and honor those who have made the selfless decision to give the gift of life to others through organ donation and transplantation,” said Cynthia Hundorfean, president and CEO at Allegheny Health Network. “This is also a time to recognize our talented transplant clinicians and caregivers at AHN and across the country for the remarkable work they do each day to save and transform lives.”
Among the month’s highlights at AHN will be flag-raising ceremonies at each hospital where hospital leadership, transplant patients and donor families come together to share their journey. Throughout the month, hospitals will also invite employees to “Step Up and Give a Hand,” by pledging their support of organ donation with a colorful handprint display.
On April 16, each hospital across AHN, as well as its parent company, Highmark Health, will unite for “National Donate Life Blue and Green Day.” All employees will be asked to wear blue and green attire to show their support for organ donation, and many of the organization’s facilities will be illuminated with blue and green lights including the Highmark Health spire at Fifth Avenue Place. Additionally, West Penn Hospital will display blue and green lights in its winter garden throughout the month of April.