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Day Kimball Healthcare Celebrates National Donate Life Month with Flag-Raising Ceremony

April 15, 2019

Day Kimball Healthcare (DKH) held a flag-raising ceremony at Day Kimball Hospital in Putnam on April 12 to commemorate National Donate Life Month. Celebrated in April, the annual observance encourages organ donation awareness and honors organ donors and their families.

DKH employees gathered at the Hospital’s flag pole to share and reflect on those in their lives who have been impacted by organ donations while DKH President and CEO Anne Diamond, and DKH Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Services, John O’Keefe, RN raised the Donate Life Flag. The flag will continue to fly at the Hospital year round in order to raise awareness of the critical need for organ donors.

At the ceremony, Chas MacKenzie, Director of Donation Development for New England Donor Services, the area’s local designated Organ Procurement Organization, read a proclamation signed by Putnam Mayor Barney Seney recognizing April as National Donate Life Month and as an opportunity to join New England Donor Services and Day Kimball Hospital in its life-saving mission.

For nearly 10 years, Day Kimball Hospital has participated in the Workplace Partnership for Life Hospital Organ Donation Campaign to educate employees, patients, and the community about the crucial need for organ, eye, and tissue donation and encourage them to sign up as donors.

Day Kimball Hospital is among 1,200 other hospitals participating in this national initiative sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Since the campaign began in 2011, more than 443,000 people across the country have added their names to state registries.

"Day Kimball Hospital has always encouraged registering as an organ and tissue donor,” said MacKenzie. In the last two years alone, the Hospital supported 14 families whose loved ones gave the gift of life through donation. The staff of Day Kimball are remarkable in providing for our community's health care needs and that includes the heroes who are donor families. There are 1,234 Connecticut residents waiting for a lifesaving transplant today, and many more who need tissues to see again, walk again, and return to healthier living. It is an honor to work with such a strong community partner in this life saving mission."

DKH is working towards recognition from HRSA for its participation and cultivation of a culture that incorporates educating and registering donors as a standard part of DKH’s mission to improve the health and wellbeing of the community by providing the best medical care.

“Organ transplantation gives thousands of individuals a renewed chance at living full and active lives,” said DKH Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Services, John O’Keefe, RN. “However, the need for organs and tissue outweighs their availability. As nurses, doctors, and staff at DKH, we don’t like to keep people waiting. Imagine having to wait for an organ transplant to save your life. This national campaign is a critical effort to increase organ donor registries so that we can reduce the waiting list and save more lives.”

The need for organ donors across the country remains significant. More than 114,000 individuals are on the national organ transplant waiting list whose lives could benefit from the gift of organ, eye, and tissue donation. A single donor could save eight lives and positively impact hundreds more.

In order to register as an organ and tissue donor in Connecticut, residents can visit the Department of Motor Vehicles or can sign up online at daykimball.org/donate-life.

PHOTO CAPTIONS:
2019-04-12_Donate-Life-Month-MacKenzie:
Chas MacKenzie, Director of Donation Development with New England Donor Services, reads a proclamation signed by Putnam Mayor Barney Seney recognizing April as National Donate Life Month and as an opportunity to join New England Donor Services and Day Kimball Hospital in its life-saving mission.

2019-04-12_Donate-Life-Month-Flag-Raising: Anne Diamond, Day Kimball Healthcare President & CEO, and John O'Keefe, RN, DKH Chief Nursing Officer and VP Patient Services, raise the Donate Life Flag at Day Kimball Hospital.

2019-04-12_Donate-Life-Month-DKH-Staff: Day Kimball Healthcare staff raise awareness about the importance of organ donations at a flag raising ceremony held on April 12 at Day Kimball Hospital to commemorate April as National Donate Life Month.

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