VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Jan. 25, 2019) — LifeNet Health facilitated a record number of organ transplants in its service area last year — 497 in total — a reflection of the growing number of Virginians who choose to be organ and tissue donors.
As one of 58 federally designated Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs), LifeNet Health coordinates organ donation throughout most of Virginia and part of West Virginia. The increase in transplants stems from growing participation in Virginia’s donor registry, which includes more than 4 million adults, as well as effective collaboration between LifeNet Health and transplant centers across the commonwealth.
“There is no greater gift than the gift of life, and we are grateful to the selfless Virginians who choose to become donors,” said Rony Thomas, LifeNet Health President and CEO. “Working alongside healthcare providers and transplant centers to fulfill the promise of donation is the essence of our mission of saving lives, restoring health and giving hope.”
The increase in Virginia matches growth in organ transplantation nationally in 2018. United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the organization that manages the nation’s organ transplant system, reported an annual increase in U.S. organ transplants for the sixth consecutive year. There were 10,721 deceased organ donors in the U.S. last year — a 5 percent increase over 2017.
“Each transplant is the result of dedicated teams working together to honor a donor’s profound generosity,” said Todd Hubler, LifeNet Health Vice President and Executive Director of the OPO. “We honor these gifts by continually refining our programs so we can bring hope to both recipients and donor families.”
The organ transplant waiting list is full of men, women and children hoping for a second chance at life. Registering as a donor is a final act of kindness toward others by giving this life-saving gift. Each registered donor creates the potential to have a tremendous impact to the more than 113,000 people who are currently awaiting a transplant across the country including more than 2,500 Virginians.
For more information about organ and tissue donation and to register as a donor, go to RegisterMe.org. You can also sign up to be a donor the next time you go to the Department of Motor Vehicles.