St. Luke's University Health Network

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Gift of Life Presents Medal of Honor to St Lukes

Gift of Life Donor Program Recognizes the Region's Healthcare Partners

Gift of Life 2013

Medal of Honor

St. Luke's Presented with Medal of Honor

Bethlehem, PA (4/8/2013) – The Gift of Life Donor Program presented St. Luke's Hospital - Bethlehem Campus with a Medal of Honor from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

HHS annually awards Medals of Honor to hospitals around the nation, recognizing those healthcare professionals who make a commitment to organ and tissue donation. In recognition of its outstanding organ donation rates, St. Luke's University Hospital-Bethlehem was named a 2012 recipient of this prestigious award, which recognizes hospitals for achieving an organ donation rate of 75 percent or greater during a 12-month period.

St. Luke's University Hospital-Bethlehem has received this award every year since it was first offered in 2005.

Every April, Gift of Life Donor Program joins Donate Life America, regional healthcare partners and countless dedicated volunteers in celebrating National Donate Life Month! Gift of Life—the region's non-profit, federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO) serving the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware—works in partnership with 130 hospitals throughout our region to bring hope to thousands by coordinating life-saving and life-enhancing organ and tissue transplants. Organ and tissue transplantation is a team effort, one that requires compassionate family-centered care and close collaboration between Gift of Life staff and the region's healthcare partners.

“Gift of Life works closely with our hospital partners to help create the opportunity for meaningful donation, out of what is often a difficult, stressful situation for our donor families,” says Gift of Life President and CEO, Howard M. Nathan. “Knowing the importance of these gifts helps our healthcare partners to be dual advocates for both our donor families and transplant recipients.”

Gift of Life is proud to work hand-in-hand with our region's 130 hospitals and 16 transplant centers, who have been staunch supporters of donation and an important part of our effort to save lives—but it is a race against time. Eighteen people die every day on the national transplant waiting list due to the lack of available organs. Donate Life Month marks a time when Gift of Life asks our hospital partners to encourage people to register by hosting donor drives, speaking engagements, “lunch and learn” sessions, and more.

Throughout April, Gift of Life Donor Program will host events and activities to help educate people about the need for donation—including the 18th Annual Dash for Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness. The Dash offers an exciting way for our hospitals and transplant centers to get involved. Individual staff can run a 5K or 10K race, and hospital or unit-based teams can participate in a 3K walk. Learn more about how you and your coworkers can get involved by visiting Gift of Life's website at www.donors1.org.

About Gift of Life Donor Program

Gift of Life Donor Program is the non-profit, federally designated organ and tissue transplant network serving the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. For more than 38 years, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 34,000 organ transplants, along with more than an estimated 500,000 tissue transplants. For more information on organ and tissue donation, please call Gift of Life at 1-800-DONORS-1 (1-800-366-6771) or visit at www.donors1.org.

Dr. J. Axelband Named Vice Chair

Gift of Life Donor Program Names Jennifer Axelband, DO, as Vice Chair of Medical Advisory and Policy Board

Dr. Jennifer AxelbandPhiladelphia, PA - Gift of Life Donor Program - the region's non-profit, federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO) serving the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware - announced that Jennifer Axelband, DO, Associate Medical Director of Medical Critical Care Education at St. Luke's University Health Network in Bethlehem, PA, has been named Vice Chair of Gift of Life's Medical Advisory and Policy Board.

Under her leadership, the Medical Advisory and Policy Board (MAPB) will offer additional guidance to assist Gift of Life Donor Program, one of the largest and most successful OPOs in the country. The MAPB is charged to work with Gift of Life to recommend policy on a variety of initiatives related to increasing donation opportunities, while also promoting continued relationships with hospital partners.

Dr. Axelband, a member of the MAPB since 2009, specializes in emergency medicine and critical care medicine and attended the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Axelband as the Vice Chair of the Medical Advisory and Policy Board,” said Howard M. Nathan, Gift of Life's President and CEO. “The Board's leadership is essential to Gift of Life's on-going advancement of donation and transplantation, and for helping us provide hope to the more than 6,500 people in Gift of Life's region who are currently awaiting a life-saving transplant. We are grateful for the Board's expertise and continued service to Gift of Life Donor Program.”

Gift of Life Donor Program is the non-profit, federally designated organ and tissue transplant network serving the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. For more than 39 years, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 35,000 organ transplants, along with more than an estimated 500,000 tissue transplants. For more information on organ and tissue donation, please call Gift of Life at 1-800-DONORS-1 (1-800-366-6771) or visit at www.donors1.org.


Contacts

Denise Rader
St. Luke's University Health Network
484-526-4104, denise.rader@sluhn.org

Erica Vanstone
Gift of Life
215-557-8090 ext. 1133, evanstone@donors1.org