banner-Tri-Hospital_Campaign.jpg UHN President and CEO Bob Bell and Ronnie Gavsie, President and CEO, Trillium Gift of Life Network, celebrate the overwhelming success of the Tri-Hospital Donor Registration Campaign. The eight-day campaign surpassed its second stretch goal (3,000 visits). (Photo: UHN)

On Friday, April 26, Toronto’s three organ transplant centres, University Health Network, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and St. Michael’s Hospital, concluded their eight day campaign to bring awareness to the need for organ and tissue donors in Ontario.

The joint campaign, fostered through Trillium Gift of Life Network’s workplace registration drive initiative, was formed to raise organ and tissue donor registration rates in Toronto.

Employees, volunteers and visitors to the organizations were encouraged to register their consent to organ and tissue donation at Beadonor.ca/123.

Goal surpassed

The original joint goal of 1,500 visits to the registry was reached on the first day of the campaign and reset to 2,250– a 50 per cent increase. After an overwhelming response, the goal was increased again to 3,000 visits– and this too has been surpassed.

Trillium Gift of Life’s workplace campaign provides support to organizations running organ and tissue donor registration drives.

With more than 3,000 visits to the registry, this tri-hospital campaign is now the largest workplace organ donor registration campaign held in Ontario to date. Registering consent is critical to the outcome of transplant wait list patients.

“My thanks to those who have taken the challenge and helped make this campaign such a success,” said UHN President and CEO Bob Bell.

“Every day we see the impact of organ donation when a patient receives this gift of life. It is always sobering to remember that this gift comes at a time when grief is overwhelming another family,” he continued, noting that the ability to give often provides some solace. He said it’s easier when the family knows what their loved one’s wishes are with regard to organ donation.

“That’s why it is important to register and to tell your family what you would want,” he noted.

Wait list deaths

“The registration rate in Toronto, 14 per cent, is lower than most Ontario communities. We approached the three transplant hospitals as natural allies to combat this and they instantly agreed to come together to support the cause,” said Ronnie Gavsie, President and CEO of Trillium Gift of Life Network.

“We are tremendously grateful to University Health Network, The Hospital for Sick Children and St. Michael’s Hospital and to all our workplace registration partners. Ultimately, registration of consent saves lives,” Gavsie continued.

In 2012, 95 people on the transplant wait list died. In the absence of registered consent, 196 families declined to donate their loved one’s organs.

Had their family member been registered, an estimated 370 additional lifesaving transplants could have been performed.

One donor can save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of up to 75 others through the gift of tissue.

To be a donor or check to see if you’re registered, visit BeADonor.ca. It is important to note that a signed donor card does not mean you are registered.

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