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This afternoon, MRMC raised the flag at the hospital to help further the message that organ and tissue donation save and improve lives. Donate Life activities at MRMC are held in conjunction with OneLegacy, the non-profit, federally designated organ, eye, and tissue recovery organization. The recognition of National Donate Life Month commemorates those who have received or continue to wait for a life-saving organ transplant or life-enhancing tissue transplant.
“During this significant month of awareness, we honor the lives of those who have given and received organs and tissue,” says MRMC President/CEO Kerin Mase. “National Donate Life Month is also an opportunity for us to renew our commitment to saving lives and encourage registration as organ and tissue donors.”
Currently, more than 21,000 California residents are waiting to receive life-saving hearts, livers, lungs, kidneys and other organs. However, there are not enough donors to meet the growing need in the state; the need is even more direct across the country. Currently over 123,000 people are on the national waiting list, while 22 people pass each day awaiting an organ transplant.
More than 12 million Californians have elected to be donors at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), making the Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Registry the largest in the nation. However, only about 30 percent of California’s population with a driver’s license have elected to be a donor, compared to more than 70 percent in the states with the highest percentages.
Among the reasons for this low donor percentage in California are misled beliefs, including that advanced age or medical conditions are reasons to rule out organ and tissue donation. Age and most medical conditions do not exclude one from donating, and all potential donors are evaluated by medical professionals on a case-by-case basis.
Organ, eye and tissue transplants offer people a new chance at healthy, productive, and normal lives and return them to their families. To register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor visit www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org, or in Spanish at www.doneVIDAcalifornia.net.
Marian Regional Medical Center, located in Santa Maria, California, is rated among the top 10% in the nation for cardiac care, and is a designated STEMI Receiving Center (ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction) in Santa Barbara County. Santa Barbara County STEMI receiving programs earned the Silver Award from the American Heart Association for excellence in patient care. Marian has achieved prestigious designation as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. In addition, Marian has received the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Clinical Excellence Award. The medical center’s cancer program is distinguished as the only comprehensive Community Cancer Center on the Central Coast. The need to meet the demand for quality, technologically-advanced care for a growing community led Marian to open its doors to a new state-of-the-art, 191-bed facility in the spring of 2012. The new facility houses the largest and most comprehensive perinatology/neonatology program on the Central Coast providing the most compassionate, quality care to the littlest of patients. Marian is a Dignity Health member of the Central Coast, which also includes Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, CA and French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, CA, St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, CA and St. John’s Pleasant Valley in Camarillo, CA. Dignity Health of the Central Coast is an integrated network of top quality hospitals, physicians from the most prestigious medical schools, and comprehensive outpatient services including primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories and imaging centers and a full service home health agency; all recognized for quality, safety and service. Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of our communities.
Sara San Juan