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Each year, the lives of thousands of people across the country are saved because someone made the choice to become an organ donor. In April, Allegheny Health Network is honored to celebrate National Donate Life Month and pay tribute to all of those who have bestowed the precious gift of life to another through organ donation. Visit AHNdonate.org to learn more and register to be an organ donor.



Format: 04/24/2014
Format: 04/24/2014


Allegheny General Hospital Awarded National Organ Donation Medal of Honor By U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) and the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) have been nationally recognized for their success in achieving increased organ donation rates.

The awards were presented by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) during the Third National Learning Congress, September 30th through October 1st, in Dallas, Texas. The medals of honor recognize hospitals and organ procurement organizations, such as CORE, that attain organ donation consent conversion rates of at least 75 percent within a 12 month cycle. The conversion rate is calculated by the number of actual organ donors out of the number of potential organ donors.

AGH, part of the West Penn Allegheny Health System in Pittsburgh, PA, is one of just eight hospitals in Pennsylvania to accomplish this national goal. Additionally, AGH is one of only 199 hospitals nationwide to be awarded the medal 2 out of 4 years.

“CORE is very proud of Allegheny General Hospital for earning this high honor,” said CORE President & CEO Susan Stuart. “Working collaboratively with the hospital to save the lives of thousands of Pennsylvanian’s awaiting transplant is of greatest importance and together we continually strive for excellence in donation.”

The presentation of medals is in association with the National Breakthrough Collaborative that has challenged all hospitals and organ procurement organizations to turn their "best practices" into "common practices," such as early referrals from hospitals and team huddles between organ procurement teams, hospital specialists and other members of the donor’s care team. To date, the Collaborative's efforts have spurred the largest increase of organ donation rates in 10 years.

“As a center for organ transplantation, we experience on a daily basis how life changing and life saving organ donation can be. It is an honor to be recognized for our commitment to the organ procurement and transplantation process.  We accept this award on behalf of all those people in our community, and their families, who have bestowed the gift of life to another through this most generous and wonderful act,” said Ngoc Thai, M.D., director of abdominal transplantation at AGH.

Currently there are over 104,000 patients on the list awaiting an organ transplant, the majority waiting for a kidney transplant. Each day, 2 patients die while waiting for an organ transplant, and yet every organ donor can help save or enhance the lives of up to 50 individuals.

About CORE
CORE is a regional not-for-profit agency that is the primary call center and intermediary for the organ recovery and allocation process that serves 155 hospitals and more than six million people in West Virginia, western Pennsylvania and Chemung County, NY. CORE has helped to pioneer organ procurement, allocation and recovery for this region since it was founded in 1977 as the Pittsburgh Transplant Foundation. For more information on CORE, call 1-800-DONORS-7 or visit www.core.org.

About Allegheny General Hospital
For more than two decades, AGH has been one of the state’s leading centers for organ transplantation. The hospital performed its first heart transplant in 1987 and its first kidney transplant the following year. It is also now a center for pancreas, liver and lung transplantation.

AGH is a 720-bed academic medical center serving Pittsburgh and the surrounding five-state area. Along with its Suburban Campus, the hospital annually admits more than 29,000 patients, and nearly 800 physicians and 6,000 employees share AGH’s commitment to excellence in patient care, medical education and research. AGH is a member of the West Penn Allegheny Health System, a physician-led organization committed to improving the health of the people living in the Western Pennsylvania region. AGH is also a Western Pennsylvania campus for the Philadelphia-based Drexel University College of Medicine; third- and fourth-year medical students receive clinical training at the hospital.

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