U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Recognizes Meridian Health for Organ Donor Enrollment Accomplishments
Meridian Hospitals All Achieve National Ranking for Organ Donor DesignationsMeridian Health's five hospitals are among a select group of medical centers nationwide recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for reaching gold, silver or bronze levels of achievement for conducting activities that promote enrollment in state organ donor registries. Meridian is part of a national hospital campaign, sponsored by HHS's Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which has added 327,659 donor enrollments to state registries nationwide since 2011, exceeding the goal of 300,000.
All of Meridian's hospitals conducted awareness and registry campaigns to educate staff, patients, visitors, and community members about the critical need for organ, eye, and tissue donors and, by doing so, increased the number of potential donors on the state's donor registry. The hospital earned points for each activity implemented between June 2013 and May 2014. The hospitals earned the following levels of recognition: Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune-Silver, Ocean Medical Center in Brick-Silver, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin-Silver, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank-Bronze, and Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel-Bronze through the Workplace Partnership for Life Hospital Campaign.
Of the 1,228 hospitals and transplant centers participating in the campaign, 400 were awarded recognition during this phase of the campaign. Twenty-eight hospitals that qualified are located in NJ, of which five are part of Meridian Health. See the full list of hospitals recognized here.
"People have an opportunity to make the decision to give life and healing to countless others through organ and tissue donation," says Patrick Buddle, M.D. chief of rehabilitative medicine at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Dr. Buddle donated a kidney to a fellow physician in 2002 and is an advocate for organ and tissue donation. "Meridian Health is actively engaged in education and awareness efforts such as programs for staff and physicians, lectures for the community, organ recipient and donor family receptions, educational displays, and the raising of the donor flag whenever a donation is made. It's wonderful for the hospitals to be recognized for their efforts and support such an important cause."
This campaign is a special effort of HRSA's Workplace Partnership for Life to mobilize the nation's hospitals to increase the number of people in the country who are registered organ, eye, and tissue donors. The campaign unites donation advocates at hospitals with representatives from their organ procurement organizations, Donate Life America affiliates, and state and regional hospital associations. Working together, the teams leverage their communications resources and outreach efforts to most effectively spread word of the critical need for donors.
Dr. Buddle notes, "The awards are a direct result of all the difficult work, dedication and support to the organ donor patients and their families by the health care professionals and staff members at all the Meridian hospitals. The entire team is committed to saving the lives of those on the waiting list."
According to the NJ Sharing Network, in 2013, 519 life-saving transplants were performed at NJ transplant centers. Still, nearly 5,000 New Jersey residents are awaiting a life-saving transplant. While people are perhaps most familiar with the concept of donating organs such as the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs and pancreas, corneas can help to restore sight, bone and other tissue can repair injured or diseased bones and joints, and skin can help heal burns. In fact, one donor can save up to eight lives and restore health to 50 others. For more information about organ donation and registration, visit www.donatelifenj.org.
About Meridian Health
Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization in New Jersey, comprising Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin, Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel, and Meridian Partner Companies that include home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, ambulatory care, ambulance services, and outpatient centers. Meridian Health has consistently been rated among the top performing health systems in New Jersey for clinical quality, is one of the FORTUNE "100 Best Companies to Work For", and is the recipient of numerous state and national recognitions for patient care and nursing excellence. For more information, please visit www.MeridianHealth.com.