Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Midwest Transplant Network partner to kick off National Donate Life Month

WESTWOOD, Kan. – March 29, 2013 – The month of April marks the 10th annual National Donate Life Month. Originally a weeklong observance, it was officially recognized as a month-long event in 2003. The celebration commemorates those who have received or continue to wait for lifesaving transplants and honors the heroes who have given the gift of life as organ, eye and tissue donors.

Midwest Transplant Network (MTN) will partner with Overland Park Regional Medical Center (OPRMC) to kick off National Donate Life Month with a rose ceremony and flag-raising at 8 a.m. April 1 in honor of donor heroes and their families who have given the generous gift of life. OPRMC, part of HCA Midwest Health System – Kansas City’s largest healthcare network – will host the event with donor families, physicians, clinical staff and community members.

“This month serves as a time to not only honor the lives of those who have given and received, it is also an opportunity for Midwest Transplant Network to renew our commitment to saving lives,” said Jan Finn, MTN chief operations officer.

“This is a time to pay tribute to organ and tissue donors,” said Don Fishman, MD, Trauma Services medical director at OPRMC. “Their quiet compassion and generosity touch so many lives; their selfless acts and the courage of their families truly inspire hope at moments of profound need.”

There are now more than 110 million registered donors in the United States, including more than 900,000 from Kansas and more than 3 million from Missouri. Still, the number of people in need of transplants continues to rise. The solution to this problem is to continue educating the public about the lifesaving effects of donation and transplantation and get them to make their decision known by signing up through their state donor registry.

About Overland Park Regional Medical Center Overland Park Regional Medical Center, part of HCA Midwest Health System – Kansas City’s largest healthcare network – is a licensed 350-bed facility offering acute and outpatient medical care services, including a Regional Trauma Center, an Accredited Chest Pain Center, The Women's Center, a Level IIIB NICU, the Human Motion Institute, advanced diagnostic imaging, a Diabetes Center and many other services. Overland Park Regional Medical Center was named one of the nation's top performing hospitals on key quality measures by The Joint Commission, the nation's leading accreditor of health care organizations. Overland Park Regional Medical Center has received the Get With the Guidelines Stroke-Silver Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. The Breast Center of Overland Park Regional Medical Center is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), which is administered by the American College of Surgeons. Accreditation by the NAPBC is only given to those centers that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of quality breast care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. In addition, the HCA Midwest Neonatal Transport Team, serving Kansas City and outlying areas, is headquartered at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. In fall 2012, OPRMC broke ground on a historic $110 million expansion for a new patient tower, Emergency Department and Trauma Center. For more information on Overland Park Regional Medical Center, visit oprmc.com.

About Midwest Transplant Network The successful development of organ and tissue transplantation is one of the most extraordinary triumphs of modern medicine. Unfortunately, the ability to deliver this miracle is limited by a severe shortage of donors. Midwest Transplant Network (MTN) is the community’s connection to organ and tissue procurement and public awareness exclusively for Kansas and the western half of Missouri. MTN is a federally certified not-for-profit Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) and has been committed to providing quality results in all facets of transplant and procurement services since 1973. For additional information about MTN, please visit mwtn.org.

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