The kick-off for Donate Life month, designated in April, was held March 27 at Wetzel County Hospital. Gigi Barker of Wetzel County Hospital stated that two lunch and learns were planned for the day, to raise awareness. Additionally, promotional materials and items were available for those wishing to learn more about the cause. Barker also stated that a raffle was to be held.
Staff at the hospital was also allowed to wear jeans for free as long as they wore blue and green, the colors for "Donate Life" month. Staff is normally allowed to wear jeans on Wednesday if they donate $2, which then goes toward the hospital's heart failure fund. However, an exception was made in honor of Donate Life month.
Nicole Cornell from The Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) was also on hand for the day.
Pictured from left are Edwin Szewczyk, chief financial officer at Wetzel County Hospital; Gigi Barker, RN at Wetzel County Hospital; Mary Robinson of Wetzel County Hospital, and Bruce Taylor, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church of New Martinsville.
CORE is one of 58 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) in the United States. CORE supports families during the grieving process and talks to them about the opportunity to donate. Additionally, the organization also notifies the organ transplant team and coordinates the surgical recovery of organs, tissue, and eyes. CORE also facilitates the computerized matching of donated organs and placement corneas.
CORE was found in 1977 as the Transplant Organ Procurement Foundation of Western Pennsylvania. The organization changed its name to CORE in 1992 to reflect its expanding role in the procurement field. CORE's headquarters are located in Pittsburgh, but it also possesses an office in Charleston. Its assigned reason covers 155 hospitals and almost six million people throughout western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Chemung County, N.Y. Each of these hospitals serves as a referral site for potential donors, while the following five also perform organ transplants: Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh; UPMC Presbyterian; the Veteran's Administration Medical Center; and West Penn Allegheny Health System-Allegheny General Hospital, and Charleston Area Medical Center Hospital in West Virginia.
For additional information on CORE, check out its website at www.core.org.