Gift of Life launches yearlong Transplant Center Challenge to bolster the state’s donor registry

Gift of Life Michigan logo

ANN ARBOR, MI— The state’s nine transplant centers have accepted a brand-new challenge by Gift of Life Michigan to compete for an honor that will net them more than a fancy trophy – it will save lives.

The medical centers will engage in a friendly competition beginning Friday, April 1, to see who can add the most names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. The challenge will end on March 31, 2017 and the winner will be announced by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, one of Michigan’s fiercest advocates of donation and transplantation.

“Every name we are able to add to the registry means something big for the more than 3,500 people in Michigan still waiting for phone calls letting them know their lives will be saved,” Johnson said. “Transplant Centers are a perfect fit for this challenge and I can’t wait to announce the winner in 2017.”

The transplant centers include Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak, Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Harper Hospital in Detroit, Henry Ford Transplant Institute in Detroit, St. John Hospital & Medical Center in Detroit, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids, Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids and University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor.

The centers will reach out to employees, patients and their families, their communities and more as they work to help patients waiting for life-saving organ transplants and thousands more needing corneas and tissue.

Transplant center employees will use events, social media, email, their websites and poster and table displays in hospital cafeterias and lobbies to add names to the registry. To date, 55 percent of adults in Michigan have joined the Michigan Organ Donor Registry and have the red heart emblem on their state ID or driver’s license.

“Our transplant centers have stepped up without one second of hesitation to try to help lend new hope to patients all over Michigan,” said Rick Hillbom, interim chief executive officer of Gift of Life Michigan. “They know better than most that patient lives are on the line and that without donors there are no transplants. We can’t thank them enough for taking part in this new challenge.”

To sign up and credit your favorite transplant center, visit https://giftoflifemichigan.org/, click Sign Up Now and select the hospital name from the drop-down menu.

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Gift of Life Michigan is the state’s only federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization. It acts as intermediary between donors, their families, hospital staff and transplant centers. Gift of Life Michigan, in collaboration with Eversight Michigan, provides all services necessary for organ, tissue and eye donation.

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