Hospital Is Honored For Promoting Organ Donation

Belmont Community Hospital is one of 37 Ohio hospitals and transplant centers to be honored for its efforts to promote organ donation.

The award to BCH, a division of Wheeling Hospital, came from the Department of Health and Human Services as part of the workplace Partnership for Life Hospital Organ Donation Campaign.

The Ohio hospitals were among the more than 400 hospitals and 174 transplant centers nationwide earning recognition for organ, eye and tissue donation and registration efforts between June 2013 and May 2014. So far, the campaign has resulted in 327,659 donor designations.

Participating hospitals worked closely with their procurement organizations and Donate Life America affiliates to educate and register new donors.

“The lack of registered donors in America results in a tragic loss of life every day, but there is a known solution,” Teresa Rinkes, BCH nurse manager, said. “By registering as a donor, you have the unique opportunity to give hope to the 3,400 Ohioans awaiting life-saving transplants.”

John DeBlasis, BCH vice president, said, “This award reflects the caring nature of the staff at BCH. It is an honor to be recognized in this capacity and it displays how important a community hospital is to others.”

In January, a display at BCH served as a symbol of the need for more people to register to become organ donors. The Green Chair, on loan from Donate Life Ohio, represented the fact that 18 Americans – and one Ohioan – die every day waiting for a transplant. With the theme of “Don’t Let Another Chair Go Empty,” the display served to remind visitors to BCH of the 3,400 Ohioans currently waiting for a life-saving transplant.

Advances in medical science have made transplant surgery extremely successful. Transplantation is no longer considered experimental, but rather a desirable treatment option for end-stage organ failure. The major problem is that there are thousands of Americans waiting for a match to give them a second chance at life, yet there are not enough registered organ donors to meet the growing need.

Organs that can be donated by a deceased donor include: kidneys, heart, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine. Tissues that can be donated include: heart valves, corneas, skin, bone, ligaments, tendons, nerves, fascia, middle ear bones and veins. A living donor can give a kidney, or a portion of the liver, lung, small intestine or pancreas.

For more information, call Rinkes at 740-671-1483.