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AGH Leads the Way as Each AHN Hospital in Pennsylvania Earns Recognition in HAP’s Annual Donate Life Challenge

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Allegheny General Hospital’s (AGH) titanium-level finish sparked Allegheny Health Network (AHN) to another strong showing in the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania’s (HAP) annual Donate Life Hospital Challenge. This marks the first year HAP raised the bar for its highest-level designation to titanium, which recognizes hospitals that engaged in unprecedented levels of outreach activities in order to raise awareness for organ donation and encourage new donor registrations.
Every other AHN hospital in Pennsylvania earned platinum-level recognition this year. That includes Allegheny Valley, Canonsburg, Forbes, Jefferson, Saint Vincent and West Penn hospitals. Each of the hospitals was recognized today at the Center for Organ Recovery & Education’s (CORE) Hospital Challenge Awards Luncheon at Fox Chapel Golf Club. Additionally, AHN took home platinum honors in CORE’s health system category. 

“We are extremely proud and appreciative of the outstanding work our hospitals do each year to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation,” said Cynthia Hundorfean, AHN President and CEO. “There is a critical need for more donor organs, both locally and across the country, which is why we are so supportive of the efforts of CORE and HAP to help better educate the public and bring the gift of life through organ donation to more people and families who are waiting for it.”

AGH, the Network’s flagship academic medical center, is one of the nation’s top centers for organ transplantation, performing heart, kidney, liver, and pancreas transplants. AGH’s heart and kidney transplant recipients have the best three-year survival rates in the region, according to the latest figures from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.

HAP partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), western Pennsylvania’s CORE and southeastern Pennsylvania’s Gift of Life Donor Program — the two organ procurement organizations serving the Commonwealth — to support the 2017 Donate Life Hospital Challenge. From April 1 until August 31, 2017, nearly 100 hospitals and health systems across Pennsylvania held activities on their campuses and in the community to increase awareness about the gift of organ donation. HAP awarded titanium-, platinum-, gold-, silver-, and bronze-level status to participating hospitals based on the scope, creativity, and impact of the donor awareness events and campaigns they developed. 

Every day, 21 people die in the U.S. while waiting for an organ, and every 10 minutes somebody new is added to a nationwide organ waiting list that is now more than 121,000 people long. That includes more than 8,400 people in Pennsylvania. The HAP Challenge encourages more Americans to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors, and recognizes those who have saved lives through donation. According to CORE, one single organ donor can save up to eight lives, and one tissue donor can improve up to 50 lives. 

AHN organized numerous events to raise awareness for organ donation during the HAP Challenge, starting with a slew of activities in April’s national Donate Life Month. Those included: Donate Life flag-raising ceremonies, participating in National Donate Life Blue & Green Day in memory and appreciation of organ donors, setting up information tables at hospitals for people to learn how to register to become a donor, an organ donor pinning ceremony to recognize living donors, a transplant recipient parade through AGH, and rose garden dedication ceremonies to honor those who have graciously saved others through organ donation.