University of Maryland Shore Regional Health celebrated April as National Donate Life Month with a virtual flag-raising at UM Shore Medical Center at Easton on April 16. Members of the Donor Council of UM Shore Regional Health met in the front circle to honor the families and donors who chose to give the gift of life to those in need.
Created by Donate Life America in 2003, Donate Life Month is observed annually to honor organ donors and their families’ choice to save lives. During the COVID-19 pandemic, The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland worked with hospitals, transplant centers and healthcare partners to ensure organ transplant safety for recipients and the community. In 2020, over 39,000 lives were saved in the United States. Of these, an all-time high of 33,000 lives were saved were from deceased donors.
Photo: Shown are Trish Ebner, UM Shore Regional Health’s liaison to the Living Legacy Foundation (LLF); Jessica Fluharty, director, Critical Care and Emergency Services, UM Shore Medical Center at Easton; and Chris Wright, LLF hospital services coordinator.
“Thanks to the generosity of donors and their families, and the dedication of healthcare and transplant professionals, lives were able to be saved through donation and transplantation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chris Wright, hospital services coordinator for The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland and UM Shore Regional Health.
The Donor Council of UM Shore Regional Health and The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland educate the community about organ donation through information sessions about the donation process as well as awareness tables located in the cafeteria for hospital staff.
The education of hospital staff about the organ donation process is vital to encourage organ donation registration. Maryland registered more than 180,000 new organ donors in 2020. While half of all Marylanders are registered organ donors, more people support organ donation than registration records show.
“Educating staff enables education to the public, getting them talking and encouraging organ donation outside of work,” says Trish Ebner, UM Shore Regional Health’s liaison to The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland. “Members of our Shore community who have experienced organ donation from the giving side have expressed a sense of comfort that even in death, their loved one was still helping others.”
To register as an organ donor, visit the Maryland Vehicle Association while obtaining or renewing a driver’s license or state ID or visit The Living Legacy Foundation online at www.thellf.org.
About University of Maryland Shore Regional Health
As part of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), University of Maryland Shore Regional Health is the principal provider of comprehensive health care services for more than 170,000 residents of Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. UM Shore Regional Health’s team of more than 2,200 employees, medical staff, board members and volunteers works with various community partners to fulfill the organization’s mission of Creating Healthier Communities Together.
About the University of Maryland Medical System
The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is a university-based regional health care system focused on serving the health care needs of Maryland, bringing innovation, discovery and research to the care we provide and educating the state’s future physician and health care professionals through our partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the UM Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Dentistry in Baltimore. As one of the largest private employers in the State, the health system’s 28,000 employees and 4,000 affiliated physicians provide primary and specialty care in more than 150 locations and at 13 hospitals. UMMS’ flagship academic campus, the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore is partnered with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and is recognized regionally and nationally for excellence and innovation in specialized care. Our acute care and specialty rehabilitation hospitals serve urban, suburban and rural communities and are located in 13 counties across the State. For more information, visit www.umms.org.