BELLEVILLE, April 21, 2015 – This week, employees from Quinte Health Care (QHC) through the Trillium Gift of Life Network’s organ and tissue donor campaign, are saving more lives in Ontario and inviting community members to participate. The contribution is simple: register to be an organ and tissue donor.
The registration drive at QHC kicked off on Monday and will run until April 24. Employees, physicians, volunteers as well as friends, family and community members are encouraged to visit the campaign page at www.beadonor.ca/quintehealthcare to register their consent to organ and tissue donation or check their registration status. Their goal is for 200 people to register their consent or confirm their registration. All that is required is the individual’s health card.
Dr. Maria E. Theodorou, Chair of QHC's Organ and Tissue Donation Committee and physician who works in the Intensive Care Unit, said that although the campaign only kicked off yesterday morning, already more than 140 people have registered or confirmed their registration through the QHC registration page. “We are very proud of the level of participation that we are already seeing from employees, physicians and volunteers,” she said. “Trillium Gift of Life Network is making it easy for us to play a vital part in saving lives in Ontario and our participation in this initiative is a great way to engage everyone in a cause that’s meaningful, and requires no financial or time commitment."
The Trillium Gift of Life Network coordinates organ and tissue donation for transplantation across Ontario and Quinte Health Care became an official partner in June 2014. Prior to the partnership, there was often a delay in the time of death and determining whether or not the individual wanted to be an organ and/or tissue donor. Christine Wilkinson, QHC Program Director said that since the official partnership, staff have really become engaged and the results are phenomenal. “This last quarter, we realized a 97% notification rate (notification of deaths) to Trillium Gift of Life Network, and thus nearly all potential donors are being considered at the time of death,” she said. “When you have people who are waiting, sometimes for months for a donor transplant, every second counts. This partnership is making a tremendous difference in the lives of so many people and their families.”
Dr. Theodorou points out that "Since becoming an official Trillium Gift of Life partner, we have already had one multi-organ donor whose organs (kidneys, liver and pancreatic islet cells) saved four lives, one multi tissue donor (heart valves, bones, connective tissue) and 18 eye donors whose donations have changed the lives of countless recipients. We are so thankful to our donor families for working with us and Trillium to make the gift of life possible. Although we are making great strides, the demand for organs and tissues far outstrips the supply, and that's why we encourage everyone in the Quinte Region to step forward and register. "
Organ donation in Ontario has tremendous support, but there is a lack of follow-through on intent. While 80 percent of Ontarians say that giving consent for organ and tissue donation in advance is very important to them, only 26 percent have actually registered. The registration drive initiative was designed to address the disconnect between intention and action. Engaging with Ontarians where they work, gives them the opportunity and inspiration to follow through on their intent.
“Encouraging more Ontarians to register as organ and tissue donors is critically important because too many Ontarians die before receiving the organ transplant they need,” said Ronnie Gavsie, President and CEO of Trillium Gift of Life Network. “Beadonor.ca has made it easier for Ontarians to register their consent. Now, by bringing this awareness into the workplace, we are making it even easier for organizations like Quinte Health Care to engage their employees to make a difference in the lives of Ontarians.”
Quinte Health Care has 1,800 staff members and 320 medical staff who provide a wide range of high quality health care services to a region of 160,000 residents. Care is provided through four hospitals – QHC Belleville General Hospital, QHC North Hastings Hospital, QHC Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital and QHC Trenton Memorial Hospitals – and includes inpatient services, four emergency departments, operating rooms at three sites, a rehabilitation day hospital, children's treatment centre, ambulatory care clinics, community mental health programs and a range of diagnostic services.
Trillium Gift of Life Network is a not-for-profit agency for the Government of Ontario and is responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating and supporting organ and tissue donation for transplantation across Ontario and improving the system so that more lives can be saved.
Senior Director of Communications
Quinte Health Care
(613) 969-7400, ext. 2331