LifeNet Health Saves Record Number of Lives Through Organ Donation in 2022
Fifth consecutive record year for organ donors led to more than 630 lifesaving transplants last year
Virginia Beach, Va. (Jan. 11, 2023) — LifeNet Health, the federally designated Organ Procurement Organization for most of Virginia, achieved a fifth consecutive record year for organ donation in 2022.
Working in partnership with hospitals and transplant centers throughout the commonwealth, the organization saved more lives than ever by facilitating donations from a record 247 people. These efforts enabled 636 lifesaving transplants for 562 patients, including some who received multiple organs – both of which are also records for LifeNet Health’s service area.
“This achievement reflects our commitment to continually strengthening the processes that enable donation and building support for this selfless gift,” said LifeNet Health President and CEO Rony Thomas. “We are humbled to have been trusted in 2022 by more families than ever before, and we will honor that trust by working together with partners in healthcare and in our communities to continue to save more lives."
Since 2016, the number of organ donors has increased by 89% across the LifeNet Health service area, which covers most of Virginia as well as three counties in West Virginia and one county in North Carolina. The number of transplanted organs has increased by 50% over the same period.
Strong partnerships with more than 70 hospitals and transplant centers are instrumental to this progress. Donation is only possible through their active involvement and participation – including recognizing when potential donors meet criteria, supporting families, and working to improve policies and procedures.
“There are complex logistics and medical protocols that have to be navigated,” said Todd Hubler, LifeNet Health Vice President and Organ Procurement Organization Executive Director. “We work continuously with our healthcare partners to ensure we honor every opportunity to make donation happen.”
Increased donation is also made possible by expanded community outreach programs and infrastructure — including facilities and staffing models — designed to continually optimize the donation process. LifeNet Health’s One Hero program seeks to advance health equity in organ donation and transplantation by increasing access among Black Virginians. After its public launch in 2021, One Hero resulted in a 19% increase in Virginia donor registration within targeted zip codes in the Richmond area. The initiative will be expanded statewide in 2023.
There are more than 105,000 men, women and children waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant in the United States – including more than 2,800 in Virginia. Building support for donation is crucial to meeting that need. LifeNet Health encourages everyone to register by signing up at the DMV or by going to RegisterMe.org, and then talking to their family and friends about their decision.
Brittany Hoover, who passed away in March, is one of Virginia’s donor heroes from 2022. She saved four lives through organ donation and was recently honored on the Donate Life float at the Rose Parade. “I’m so proud of her selfless final act of kindness,” her mother, Vivian, said.
One donor can help save the lives of nine people through organ donation and restore health for more than 150 people through tissue donation.