Heartfelt Ceremony Honors Donors; Marks
Donate Life Month
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West Orange, NJ, April 12, 2013– Seven Barnabas Health facilities across the state simultaneously raised the Donate Life flag today at 10 am to pay tribute to organ and tissue donors and to raise awareness of the life-saving and life-restoring value of organ and tissue donation.
Donor families, organ recipients, community leaders and health care professionals gathered with team members of NJ Sharing Network in the series of heartfelt ceremonies, which marked April as Donate Life Month.
"Barnabas Health is extremely proud to participate in Donate Life Month at each of our facilities to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and to honor our donors, recipients and their families," said Barry Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of Barnabas Health. "These donor families responded to personal tragedy with life-saving generosity."
Barnabas Health facilities: Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston; Clara Maass Medical Center, Belleville; Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark; Community Medical Center, Toms River; Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch, Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center, Livingston; Kimball Medical Center, Lakewood.
At each facility, dozens gathered to raise awareness. They heard from organ recipients able to live fully again because of a transplant. They also heard from donor families who said the decision to donate organs that saved others provided a measure of solace and comfort. Local officials also attended several of the events.
Joe Roth, President & CEO, NJ Sharing Network, thanked health care professionals throughout the Barnabas Health system for their hard work and dedication to organ and tissue donation.
"Without our hospital partners, without our donor families and without the commitment of so many people we do not exist," Roth said. "We are able to continue with our life-saving and life-restoring work because so many people — many of them gathered today throughout Barnabas Health — believe and support our mission."
Nearly 5,000 people currently are awaiting life-saving organs in New Jersey. In 2012, over 370 heart, lung, kidney and pancreas transplant surgeries were performed at Barnabas Health facilities, Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston and Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark.
Anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can sign up to be a donor. In-person organ donor registration is available at local Motor Vehicle Commission agencies. Visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org to register online.
To learn more about organ and tissue donation or to get involved with NJ Sharing Network call 1-800-742-7365 or visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org to register as an organ and tissue donor. For further information about the Barnabas Health Transplant Programs, please visit
About NJ Sharing Network
NJ Sharing Network is a non-profit, federally designated organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue for New Jersey residents in need of life-saving transplants. NJ Sharing Network partners with Donate Life America, a not-for-profit national alliance that drives communities to increase their numbers of registered donors. NJ Sharing Network honors those who gave, pays tribute to those who received, offers hope to those who continue to wait, and remembers the lives lost while waiting...for the gift of life.
About Barnabas Health
Barnabas Health is the largest not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system in New Jersey and one of the largest in the nation, annually caring for more than two million patient visits and delivering more than 18,000 babies. The system includes six acute care hospitals, two children’s hospitals, a free- standing behavioral health center, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, the state’s largest behavioral health network and comprehensive homecare and hospice programs. Among nationally recognized services are burn treatment; adult and pediatric cardiac surgery; heart, lung, kidney and pancreas transplant; neurology and neurosurgery; reproductive medicine and science; geriatrics; oncology; pediatrics; and women’s services. Barnabas Health includes 18,500 employees, (second largest private employer in NJ); 4,600 physicians (one-fifth of the actively practicing physicians in NJ); and 445 residents and interns.
Date: April 12, 2013
Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center
Employees at the Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) along with representatives from the New Jersey Sharing Network gathered at 10 a.m., April 12 in the Atrium of the ACC to raise the
NJ Sharing Network flag in support of Donate Life Month.
Clara Maass Medical Center
Elliott Kominsky, a heart transplant recipient, far left, stands with Jackie Lue Raia, middle, whose mother donated her organs and tissue, and Clara Maass Medical Center President Mary Ellen Clyne, Ph.D., right, as the flag is raised at Clara Maass Medical Center.
Community Medical Center
Stephanie L. Bloom, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, Community Medical Center, and Sharyn Sawczak, Manager, Organ Donation Services, NJ Sharing Network, unfurled the organ donation flag in honor of National Donate Life Month at a ceremony held at Community Medical Center. The event, attended by organ donor families and an organ recipient, was held to encourage awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation.
Kimball Medical Center
Michael Mimoso (far right), President and Chief Executive Officer of Kimball Medical Center, holds the NJ Sharing Network flag with Todd Phillips, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Kimball Medical Center, Alene Stewart (left center) of NJ Sharing Network and Lori Rigolsky, a Marlboro resident. Rigolsky shared the story of her husband Alan who received a heart transplant more than one year ago. She urged those who attended the ceremony to support organ donation which literally gave her husband a second chance at life. Due to inclement weather, the ceremony was held inside. The flag will be raised over the weekend.
Monmouth Medical Center
Gathering at the “Donate Life” flag-raising ceremony at Monmouth Medical Center are, from left, hospital chaplain Tony Cinardo, donor mom Erin DeVivo, Sharing Network representatives Oscar Colon and Amanda Abramo, heart transplant recipient, Kevin Quinn, Frank J. Vozos, M.D., FACS, President and Chief Executive Officer of Monmouth Medical Center and Maureen Bowe, R.N., M.S.N., Clinical Director of Critical Care.
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
City of Newark Councilwoman Mildred Crump [front row, third from the right] is pictured with administrators and health professionals from NBIMC, ChoNJ and the N.J. Sharing Network.
Saint Barnabas Medical Center
Pictured are Judge F. Michael Giles, a donor family member and NJ Sharing Network Foundation board member; Kathleen Davis, individual currently awaiting a transplant; Joe Roth, President & CEO, NJ Sharing Network; Shamkant Mulgaonkar, MD, Chief, Barnabas Health Renal and Pancreas Transplant Division: JD de Leon, a transplant recipient and NJ Sharing Network board member; Stuart R. Geffner, MD, Surgical Director, Barnabas Health Renal and Pancreas Transplant Division; John F. Bonamo, MD, MS, President and Chief Executive Officer, Saint Barnabas Medical Center; Livingston Mayor Rudy Fernandez.