ON THE BEAT
A PUBLICATION OF THE NEW YORK ORGAN DONOR NETWORK • Vol. 10 Issue 1 • Winter/Spring 2007
A Record Number of New Yorkers Said
“YES” to Organ and Tissue Donation in 2006
A fter years of trailing behind much
of the nation with organ do-
nation consent rates well below 50 per-
DECEASED ORGAN DONORS: 2003 - 2006
IN THE GREATER NEW YORK METROPOLITAN AREA
“A Great Team”
“Just as in the sports arena, the
cent, a record number of 319 people Donor Network is functioning like a
in the greater New York metropolitan great team,” said Dr. Dale Distant, the
area became organ donors upon their Donor Network’s chairperson, who is
death in 2006, elevating the area’s con- the director of the division of trans-
sent rate to 56 percent. plant at SUNY Downstate Medical
The unprecedented rise in the Center.
number of deceased organ donors re- “We believe in each other, in the
ﬂects an increase of 22 percent in the same way that the players believe in their
number of donors when compared to coach, the coach believes in the players,
2004, the previous benchmark year. the players believe in senior manage-
EYE AND TISSUE DONORS: 2003 - 2006 ment,” Dr. Distant said. “Everybody is
DONORS RECOVERED FOR WHICH THE NEW YORK ORGAN DONOR NETWORK OBTAINED CONSENT
Record Number of Lives Saved by working together.”
New York’s Organ Donors
The highest-ever number of organ Additional Data from 2006
donors in 2006 led to another ground- Of the 319 organ donors, 211 were
breaking record: the lives of 743 people white, 92 black and 7 Asian. One hun-
were saved. dred ten were Hispanic and 209 Non-
The number exceeded the 700 Hispanic.
threshold for the ﬁrst time. When the Forty-three organ donors were over
previous record fell in 2005, there were the age of 71. Twelve were under the age
627 organ transplant recipients. of 5. The oldest was 92; the youngest,
just 18 days old. Organs transplanted in-
Eye and Tissue Donors Up by 11 Percent cluded 399 kidneys, 65 hearts, 57 lungs, 240
Another record was set in 2006, when feel about donation.” livers, 28 pancreas and 7 intestines.
eyes and tissues were recovered from the She said that so many lives would not Among the 689 eye and tissue donors
689 donors for which the New York Organ have been saved “if not for the prior deci- recovered, for which the New York Organ
Donor Network obtained consent. sion of the donors to give life, and the sub- Donor Network obtained consent, 456
The number of donors exceeded by 11 sequent compassion of their families.” were musculoskeletal donors, 464 were eye
percent the previous record established in donors, 177 donated heart valves, 209 do-
2005. High Level of Hospital Collaboration nated veins, and 173 were skin donors. ■
“A Dramatic Breakthrough” Ms. Berg explained that the dramatic INSIDE THIS ISSUE
rise in the number of donors in 2006 can New York State’s
“The year 2006 can truly be described be attributed to numerous factors, including 2006 Organ and Tissue
as a dramatic breakthrough for donation in a high level of collaboration between the Donation Legislation
New York,” said Elaine Berg, the New York Donor Network and hospitals, an increase ... Page 2
Organ Donor Network’s president and in the number of Donor Network family Medals of Honor:
CEO. “We believe that, at long last, there is service coordinators placed at hospitals, and Breakthrough Leadership Is
Recognized at Seven Hospitals
a very positive shift in the way New Yorkers improved donor management. ... Page 4
A Turning Point: What you need to know ...
NEW YORK STATE’S
Elected Ofﬁcials Act to Support Organ DONOR LEGISLATION
and Tissue Donation ► Organ and tissue donor registry is
renamed “The Donate Life Registry.”
Effective: 60 days after becoming law.
I n a turning point for organ and tis-
sue donation in New York State,
Governor George Pataki signed
into law a series of seven bills on August
18, 2006 that will encourage donation,
► Donor registry changes from intent
to consent, so that the donor’s decision is
Effective: 180 days after it becomes law.
► “Organ Donor” is printed on the front of
thereby ensuring that countless additional driver’s licenses for those enrolled in the
New Yorkers will receive the “Gift of Life.” Effective: 60 days after becoming law.
The legislation was approved unanimously
► On driver’s license application or renewal,
by both houses. one dollar can be voluntarily contributed to
“We are witnessing a historic milestone August 11 news conference in support of the “Life Pass It On” trust fund to promote
in the ﬁeld of organ and tissue donation the legislation: From left, Ted Lawson, heart organ and tissue donation.
recipient and New York Organ Donor Network Effective: 18 months after becoming law.
in our state,” said Elaine Berg, president volunteer; Elaine Berg, Donor Network CEO
and CEO of the New York Organ Donor and president; New York State Assemblyman ► Donation is included in New York State’s
Network, after the signing of the bills. Richard Gottfried, who chairs the Assembly’s Wellness Education and Outreach Program.
Health Committee; and New York State Effective: immediately
“This legislative package is aggressive and
Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (far right).
visionary, and it has the potential to vastly ► Implications of presumed consent to be
improve donation in New York State.” studied by the New York State Transplant
One of the most signiﬁcant bills will organ donors on the front of drivers’ licens- Effective: within 90 days.
convert New York’s current donor registry es when they enroll in the donor registry.
► Up to $10,000 subtracted from taxpayers’
from one of intent to consent, ﬁrming up In the days leading up to Governor federal gross income for certain living
an individual’s legal right to be a donor and Pataki’s signature, there were several efforts donation expenses.
have their wishes honored. in support of the legislation. At a July news Effective: Taxable year beginning January 1, 2007.
Another bill requires the New York conference, kidney recipient and Hunting-
State Transplant Council to undertake a ton Assemblyman James Conte urged the
study of, and report on, the potential of a Governor to sign the legislation. was Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, who
presumed consent law in New York State. On August 11, the Greater New York chairs the Assembly’s Health Committee.
Such a law, if enacted, would assume people Coalition on Donation held a news confer- Jeff Graham, a liver recipient and president
want to donate, unless they specify other- ence at which New York State Assembly- of Transplant Support Organization (TSO),
wise. The Council held the ﬁrst meeting of man Richard Brodsky said the bills “rep- spoke on behalf of the Greater New York
the Committee on Presumed Consent on resent a dramatic advance in getting more Coalition on Donation.
December 18, 2006, in New York City. organs available for people who need them.” In addition to the Donor Network and
The bills also add the identiﬁcation of Also in attendance to support the legislation TSO, coalition members represented at the
news conference were The Eye-Bank for
Sight Restoration, National Kidney Foun-
Willie Brodsky, a Force Behind the Legislation dation, Kidney and Urology Foundation
of America, Transplants Save Lives, Trans-
Over the summer of 2006, New York the organ and tissue donation legislation in plant Recipients International Organization
Assemblyman Richard Brodsky of Westches- New York State. (TRIO) Manhattan, TRIO Long Island,
ter ended his campaign for attor- Willie’s need for a kidney re- Transplant Speakers International, and the
ney general so that he could do- ceived extensive media coverage, New York Blood Center.
nate a kidney to his desperately ill and it most certainly helped to drive Apart from having the legislators to
14-year-old daughter, Willie. home a message to lawmakers about thank, the Donor Network is grateful for
However, Mr. Brodsky could the urgent need for more donors. the dedication shown by donation and trans-
not follow up on his offer when Upon signing the legislation a plant professionals and volunteers, such as
medical tests revealed that he also month after Willie’s transplant, Gov- donor families and recipients, who visited
suffers from kidney disease. ernor Pataki stated: “It is literally
Albany each year for Legislative Education
On July 14, Willie received vital that we continue to encourage
Day. We also thank the New York Alliance
her kidney from a deceased donor New Yorkers to consider becoming
for Donation, notably Carla Williams, its ex-
through the standard UNOS waiting list pro- an organ donor. On behalf of New Yorkers
cedure. like Willie Brodsky, I am pleased to sign these ecutive director, and the Greater New York
In hindsight, the plight of the Brodsky bills that help advance that goal into law.” Coalition on Donation. ■
family quite likely hastened the approval of Photo: LifeTouch
2006 — A Landmark Year for Donation in New York
The Year 2006 was extraordinary for the New York Organ thoughtful change, we have steadily increased the number of Donor
Donor Network, its partners, and the patients that it serves. A Network family service coordinators placed in the hospitals since
record number of organ and tissue donors in the greater New 2001, which means that they can interact more closely and build
York metropolitan area, far surpassing any previous trust with donor families and hospital personnel.
numbers, meant that a record number of lives Then, too, the general public is better informed
were saved and improved by New Yorkers through A Message From about donation because public education is ﬁnally
transplantation. Elaine R. Berg bearing fruit. The new laws passed by the state leg-
As we note on the cover of this issue, there islature and signed by Governor Pataki in 2006 will
were 319 deceased organ donors — 57 more than change the face of organ and tissue donation in New
the previous best. Our 56 percent organ donation York, and could not have been enacted without a
consent rate now only slightly trails the national av- groundswell of state-wide support from all sectors.
erage, whereas we were up to 10 points behind just As we review the year’s achievements, I must ac-
a few years ago. A total of 743 organ recipients were knowledge the hard work and dedication of Donor
given the opportunity to start a new, healthy life. A Network staff, our volunteers, the Greater New York
record number of 689 tissue donors meant life re- President/CEO, Coalition on Donation, and the tremendous commit-
stored for many, with milestones in bone, vein, and New York Organ Donor Network ment of our board of directors, whose leadership has
heart-valve donation. been critical to our success.
But numbers tell only a part of why 2006 will forever remain Yet, even as we savor the successes of 2006, it is sobering to
a landmark year for our agency and region. To ensure that we con- remember that nearly 7,000 people are still on the organ transplant
tinue to improve in years to come, we need to understand how and waiting list in our region. Others hope for tissues to restore their
why more people in New York said “yes” to donation than declined. sight, allow them to walk again, or replace badly burned skin.
We need to know why so many more donor families showed such With so much still to do, the words of George Bernard Shaw
incredible generosity in giving the gifts of life. The reasons are per- are an inspiration. “I like a state of continual becoming,” he wrote,
haps still unfolding, but there are some deﬁnite trends. “with a goal in front and not behind.” Our “goal in front” is to have
There is a substantially higher level of collaboration between every New Yorker enroll in the donor registry, so that our vision of
the Donor Network and area hospitals, in large measure due to a meeting the entire need for organ and tissue transplantation can be
series of federal initiatives that began in 2003, designed to maximize achieved.
donation rates. Furthermore, through process improvement and
A GARDEN OF LIFE Symbolizes the GIFT Panel Seven of the MEMORY QUILT
OF LIFE at Monteﬁore Medical Center Is Unveiled at Donor Family Luncheon
One of the highlights of 2006 was the planting of a symbolic tree Panel Seven of
of life at Monteﬁore Medical Center during Donate Life Month, in the Donor Network’s
honor of donors and recipients. The “Garden of Life, Gift of Life” Memory Quilt was on
ceremony took place in the medical center’s West Garden. Monteﬁore display for the first time
is one of nine transplant centers in the greater New York metropolitan during the Donor Family
area. Luncheon in October.
Donor Net- The quilter was
work staff, in- Barbara Fotiades of
Barbara Musto, a donor
director Dr. Eric
mother, coordinates the
present at the The Memory Quilt
event. is a testament to organ
Montefiore and tissue donation.
recently received Each square has been
a Health and contributed by a donor
Human Services family to celebrate their
Medal of Honor loved one’s life. The compelling stories are surrounded by the ﬁrst
GARDEN OF LIFE TREE-PLANTING: From
left, Monteﬁore Medical Center senior vice for substantially names of transplant recipients, symbolizing “the circle of life.” The
presidents Elaine Brennan and Dr. Steven increasing its quilt panels travel throughout the New York metropolitan area and the
Safyer, and Dr. Eric Grossman, the Donor organ donation nation, spreading the word about donation. (See page 5 for an article about
Network’s medical director. Photo: Monteﬁore Medical Center rate (see page 4). the Donor Family Luncheon.) Photo: PhotoBureau, Inc./Barbara Hanson
organ donation medals of honor
from the department of health & human services
Breakthrough Leadership Is Recognized at Greater New York Metropolitan Area Hospitals
Seven hospitals in the greater New York metropolitan area “is the highest form of human charity.” She also noted that there
have received Medals of Honor for Organ Donation from the U.S. is a high level of collaboration between the Donor Network and
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for demon- hospitals in the region.
strating breakthrough leadership. Out of more than 100 New York “The metropolitan New York region has seen an increase of 56
metropolitan area hospitals, the seven facilities were honored on percent in organ donors since 2002,” Ms. Berg added. “The overall
October 19, 2006 in New Orleans at the Second National Learning donation rate increased from 44 percent in 2005 to 51 percent in
Congress on Organ Donation and Transplantation. 2006. Based on these achievements, I fully expect to see double the
Hospitals were recognized for increasing the organ donation number of New York hospitals receiving medals in 2007.”
rate of eligible donors to 75 percent or above. Facilities with eight Referring to the hospitals and OPOs that were honored nation-
or more potential organ donors during the 26-month award period wide, Elizabeth Duke, administrator of HHS’ Health Resources and
ending in June 2006 were eligible. Services Administration (HRSA), said: “Their achievements show
Greater New York metro hospitals honored by HHS: Elm- that we can improve systems to boost donation rates and save more
hurst Hospital Center in Flushing; Franklin Hospital in Valley lives in the future.” ■
Stream; Huntington Hospital on Long Island; Lutheran Medical
Center in Brooklyn; Monteﬁore Medical Center in the Bronx; St.
Francis Hospital and Health Center in Poughkeepsie; and Win-
throp-University Hospital in Mineola. They Helped to Increase the Organ
All told, 371 of the nation’s largest hospitals, in partnership Donation Rate to Unprecedented Levels
with regional organ procurement organizations (OPOs), received
Organ donation in the U.S. increased by an unprecedented 10.8
the medals. percent in 2004, 6.2 percent in 2005, and 6.6 percent as of Octo-
Elaine Berg, president and CEO of the New York Organ Do- ber 2006.
nor Network, congratulated the hospitals that received medals. She
stated that New Yorkers are beginning to understand that donation In the Donor Network service area, organ donation increased by
56 percent since 2002. In 2006, 743 lives were saved because of a
record number of deceased organ donors (319).
A major contributory factor for these increases is a series of the
following breakthrough collaboratives launched by the Health
Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
► Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaborative was launched
in 2003 to attain organ donation rates of 75 percent or more at
hospitals. The initiative brought together donation professionals
and hospital leaders to identify best practices to maximize organ
► Organ Transplantation Breakthrough Collaborative was
launched in 2005. The goal: to increase the average number of
organs transplanted per donor to 3.75 or more.
Second National Learning Congress in New Orleans: [Personnel
► Organ Donation and Transplantation Breakthrough
from New York Organ Donor Network except where noted.]
Collaborative was launched at the Learning Congress in New
Back row, from left: Eric Grossman, M.D.; Margaret Gallagher; Joy Orleans in October 2006. The goal: to spread best practices and
Oppedisano; Barbra Kohart Klein, Winthrop-University Hospital; Ella gains to a larger number of hospitals and transplant programs.
Wirkowski, M.D., Winthrop-University Hospital; Irene Vigotty, Franklin
Hospital; Deon Stewart-Miles; Sandra Rosendo; Vivian Tellis, M.D., ► Donor Designation Collaborative was launched in October
Monteﬁore Medical Center; Liz Sellman, North Shore/LIJ Health 2006. Led by Donate Life America, the goal (by 2008) is to in-
System; Anita Principe, Monteﬁore Medical Center. crease to 100 million the number of designated donors. Achieving
Front row, from left: Gail McGuire, Lutheran Medical Center; Karin this goal means that 100 million Americans will have taken the
Statler; James F. Burdick, Division for Transplantation/HRSA; Anthony appropriate steps in their home state to ensure that their personal
Gercai, M.D., Lutheran Medical Center; Kenneth Moritsugu, M.D., decision to become a donor is recognized and honored. This could
M.P.H., R.A.D.M., acting U.S. surgeon general; Lynda Carpenter; nearly double the current number of estimated designated donors.
Patricia Porter, Huntington Hospital. Photo: HRSA/HHS
At 2006 Donor Family Luncheon, Donor Families and
Recipients Honored Those Who Gave the Gift of Life
D onor family members hon-
ored their loved ones, many
of them by pinning quilt squares onto
The keynote speaker was Dr. Jean
Emond, chief of transplantation at New York
told that she suffered from biliary artresia, a
rare liver ailment.
“I was doing pretty well,” Gillian said,
new panels of the Donor Network’s Presbyterian Hospital and secretary of the “until a tumor was found in my liver in 2005.
Memory Quilt, at the Donor Family Donor Network’s board of directors. My doctor told us that I needed a transplant
Luncheon on October 22 at Hotel Roos- “Transplantation is unique in medicine,” right away.”
evelt in Manhattan. The families were Dr. Emond told the 300 people in attendance. She received her new liver on April 17 at
also present- “It is an unprecedented combination of two Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan.
ed with New families along with doctors and the patient: “I am just
“We can only be York State the families of the donor and the recipient.” a regular kid
humbled by your Gift of Life Addressing the donor families, Dr. now,” Gillian
“I am just a regular
loss, by your Medals of Emond said: “We can only be humbled by said at the lun- kid now. I know what
generosity and your Honor. your loss, by your generosity, and by your cheon. “My a special gift I have
courage.” When courage.” family and I are been given. I make
recipients James Mateiko, a donor son, read the very grateful to the most it of every
Jean Emond, M.D., were invited biographical backgrounds of the donors as my donor and day.”
addressing donor to speak their families pinned squares onto the Mem- the donor fam- Nine-year-old Gillian
families. at the lun- ory Quilt panel. ily for giving Cohen, liver recipient
cheon, many Nine-year-old Gillian Cohen, a liver re- me a second
of them acknowledged how their lives cipient, spoke as the representative of all or- chance at life.
had been saved because of the kindness gan and tissue donors. She said that soon af- “I know what a special gift I have been
and generosity of their donors and the ter her birth, her parents, Gary and Pam, were given. I make the most of it every day.” ■
From left: An aerial view of the luncheon at the Hotel Roosevelt; Dr. Jean Emond, keynote speaker, with the Donor Network’s Elaine
Berg; Pam, Gary and 9-year-old liver transplant recipient Gillian Cohen; donor mother Carolyn Williams; and one of many families that
pinned squares onto the Donor Memory Quilt’s new panel. Photos: PhotoBureau, Inc./Barbara Hanson
DONATE LIFE BROOKLYN
IS LAUNCHED AT KINGS COUNTY HOSPITAL CENTER
On September 7, 2006, the New The overriding goals of the test are to
York Organ Donor Network launched improve the donation rate at Kings County,
its “Donate Life Brooklyn” campaign and to increase staff enrollment in the New
during a ﬂag-raising ceremony at York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry.
Kings County Hospital Center. Yvonne The Donor Network, in collaboration
Graham, Brooklyn’s deputy borough with hospital personnel and volunteers,
president, attended the event. conducted its educational program by way Flag-Raising: From left: Dr. Dale Distant,
The program is the ﬁrst phase of a of presentations, tabling, the placement of chairman of the New York Organ Donor
hospital-centered pilot in the form of an posters, and electronic messaging. Network board of directors, and director of
the division of transplant at SUNY Downstate
intensive two-week promotion of organ Kings County is a member of the New Medical Center; Elaine Berg, Donor Network
and tissue donation targeting the entire York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. president and CEO; Yvonne Graham,
employee population at hospitals. In 2007, the hospital-centered model will Brooklyn deputy borough president; and Jean
Approximately 1,300 people are be piloted at Monteﬁore Medical Center and Leon, executive director of Kings County
awaiting organ transplants in Brooklyn. NYU Medical Center. Hospital Center. Photo: Paul Flemming
CELEBRATIONS OF LIFE
Honoring the Donors
Regina Meier: Her Love of Butterﬂies
Is Remembered at Wedding Ceremony
For Smithtown resident, Seth Meier, July 3, 2006, was a day wedding reception, each guest
tinged with joy, love, sadness and poignancy. It was the day that found a butterﬂy pin at their place
the Rocky Point High School art teacher married Gabrielle DeBello. setting.
Seth (27) had met Gabrielle (26), a Walt Whitman High School his- In his speech, Seth explained
tory teacher, when they were students at Pace University. that the butterﬂies symbolized the
But it was also the day that Seth thought a lot about his mother, love and hope that his family was
Regina, who had died suddenly of an aneurism on May 31 at Stony deriving from Regina’s generous
Brook University Hospital, and who became an organ and tissue ﬁnal act as a donor.
donor. Regina, just 48-years-old when her life ended so abruptly, had He said that whenever his Seth and Gabrielle on their
lived in Sound Beach with her mom, also an art teacher, had seen wedding day.
husband, Jeff, and youngest a butterﬂy, she knew that, Sarah,
daughter, Eliza. his sister who had passed away in 2001, was still with her. Coinciden-
Because of Regina’s do- tally, when Regina died, the New York Organ Donor Network had
nation, at least four lives were sent butterﬂy pins to his family, the butterﬂies symbolizing rebirth.
saved. Her kidneys went to a When Seth invited the wedding guests to wear the butterﬂy pins,
30-year-old male and a 60- he said: “This part of the night is usually reserved for the mother-
year old-female; her liver to a son dance. As you know, tonight we are missing someone very dear
56-year-old female; and both to us all, and that my mother will be cherished and remembered
of her lungs to a 22-year- forever. Although she is not here physically, I know she is watching
Seth is photographed with his mom, old female. Regina also gave us right now with a big smile on her face, proud of her boy. Put this
Regina, at a cousin’s wedding. Like heart valves. pin close to your hearts, because that’s where my mother is right
Regina, Seth is an art teacher. At Seth and Gabrielle’s now, close to our hearts.”
Theo Mateiko: All the Way to the End,
My Mother Helped Others
By James Mateiko
There is that certain person that we ried her high school sweetheart, Jimmy. They had three children,
all know, the one that we are ﬁrst to call James (me), Elizabeth and Stefany. She worked for a small pediatric
if there is a problem or if we just need to practice.
talk, someone who expects nothing in re- In 2005, my mother became ill and she was rushed to the hospi-
turn. Theo Mateiko, my mother, was one tal. It turned out that her liver was failing because of her treatments
of those people. All the way to the end, she received through the years. We were told she needed a transplant.
helped others. Last year, she became a tis- Unfortunately, while waiting, my mother suffered a severe heart at-
sue donor. tack on April 4, 2005, and she passed on the following day. That
My mother was born in 1949 with a night, our family gave permission for her to become a donor.
condition for which the only treatment My mother was special not just to her family
was radiation. She suffered damage to but to all those with whom she came into contact.
her spinal column and skin, causing a lot She will be missed but never forgotten. Her spirit
of pain that she would learn to live with will carry on for all those who knew her, and for
for the rest of her life. those she was able to help with her gift of life
After graduating from Roosevelt through tissue donation.
High School, my mother attended Man- Top photo: Theo was featured on the
del College of Nursing where she was Mandel School of Nursing brochure.
picked to be on the cover of the school Photo below: The Mateiko family, from left:
brochure. After graduating, mom mar- Jimmy, Stefany, James (in rear), Theo and Beth.
CELEBRATIONS OF LIFE
Getting to Know the Recipients
”Two Donalds” Celebrate Thanksgiving meal which Carole prepared.
Jeff is a strong advocate for donation. He is a Donor Network
10th Anniversary Since
volunteer and president of Transplant Support Organization, which
Their Heart Transplants is a member of the Greater New York Coalition on Donation.
Ten years ago, two New Yorkers who “I receive great satisfaction in educating the public about the
needed heart transplants, and who shared the need for donors, and watching the misconceptions turn to under-
same ﬁrst name, fought at exactly the same standing,” Jeff said.
time for their lives. Donald Wong and Don-
ald Arthur got to know each other as they
lay on hospital beds at New York Presbyte- Totillo,
Arty Totillo Who
rian-Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Little TOP: Donald Wong Received a New Liver,
did they know then that they were destined and his wife, Kathy. Is a Proud Grandfather
to receive new hearts just two days apart, and BELOW: Donald Arthur
that they would become Donor Network volunteers. Arty Totillo says that a lot of good
Donald Wong, from Poughkeepsie, was diagnosed with heart things have happened since he received his
disease in 1985. He retired early as an engineer at IBM and, as a last liver transplant in May 2003 at Westchester Medi-
recourse, had a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) hooked up cal Center. He has seen his son, Chris, graduate
to his heart to keep it pumping. On July 31st, 1996, Donald received from high school, and he walked his daughter, Jen,
the best gift of all: a new heart. down the aisle in marriage to Mike Harris. The couple gave him the
“I wouldn’t be alive today without it,” he said. “My incredibly “greatest gift: a beautiful granddaughter, Madison.”
supportive wife Kathy and I have had such a full life in the past “I am so grateful to the family that made the decision to donate
10 years. We have four grandchildren. We have traveled to Canada, their loved one’s organs,” Arty said. He also thanked his wife, Kelli,
Norway, and China. I wasn’t given the gift of life to live in a glass for her support. They recently moved to North Carolina to join
house.” their children and one-year-old Madison. A former Donor Network
Donald Arthur, a bookkeeper from the Bronx, was diagnosed volunteer and a member of Transplant Support Organization, Arty
with heart disease in 1989. He received his transplant on August 2, intends to volunteer for Carolina Donor Services.
Top photo: Arty (wearing his Donate Life shirt) with Madison when she was a
1996. Since then, Donald has achieved what he believes to be a world
week old. Below: Madison, in September 2006.
record: a transplant recipient who has completed more marathons
than any other recipient. He has race-walked in nine New York City
Marathons and 14 other marathons. He plans on completing mara-
thons in all 50 states. In addition to New York, he has achieved his Ocasio,
Janet Ocasio a Liver
goal in Alaska, Ohio, California, Louisiana, and Indiana. Recipient Eight Years Ago,
A Transplant Speakers International co-founder, Donald edu- Is a Grandmother-to-Be
cates high school students about donation. He married Muriel Hay-
wood in July 2004. On October 8, 2006, Brewster resident Janet
Ocasio marked the eighth anniversary since her life-
saving liver transplant at Westchester Medical Center.
“Without the transplant, I would not be able to spend precious time
Jeff Graham, a Liver with Gabe, my husband of 35 years,” she said.
Recipient, Celebrated With a smile, Janet added: “I will have something very special
10 Years at Thanksgiving to celebrate in 2007. My daughter, Kisha Riviezzo, expects her ﬁrst
child in the spring. Without my donor, a stranger who died in a car
Thanksgiving 2006 was extra special for accident, my transplant would not have taken place.”
Jeff Graham, his wife Carole, and his children, In addition to Kisha, Janet has two other adult children: an ad-
Russell and Danielle. Exactly 10 years ago, the opted son, Michael, and a younger son, Philip.
New Rochelle resident was given a second chance at life. A health care executive before developing liver disease, Janet is a
In November 1996, after suddenly becoming very ill at the age Donor Network volunteer and a member of Transplants Save Lives.
of 51, Jeff and his family were shocked when the doctors at the
transplant intensive care unit at NYU Medical Center told them that ► ON THE WEB: Janet Ocasio, who is of Hispanic origin,
something of unknown origin had attacked his liver and that he was would like all Latinos to become donors by enrolling in the
near death. On November 23 that year (the same day as Thanksgiv- New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. Read her
ing in 2006), Carole received a phone call to say that a liver had been message at www.donatelifeny.org/gift/index.html.
found for Jeff. While recovering in intensive care, Jeff got to enjoy a
BOARD AND MEDICAL ADVISORY BOARD STAFF APPOINTMENTS
Sandip Kapur, M.D., has been appointed to the board of the Deon Stewart-Miles Is Named
New York Organ Donor Network. Dr. Kapur is associate professor Director of Clinical Operations
of surgery in the division of Transplant Surgery at New York Deon Stewart-Miles has been promoted to
Presbyterian Hospital-New York Weill Cornell Campus. Dr. Kapur the position of director of clinical operations at
previously served on the Donor Network’s medical board. the New York Organ Donor Network. Ms. Stew-
Best wishes to Joseph White. We thank him for his many years art-Miles has been employed at the Donor Net-
of service on the Donor Network’s board of directors. work since September 1995. From May 2006, she
We also thank Susan Stuard, director of regulatory affairs at held the position of interim director. Her various roles at the Donor
the Greater New York Hospital Association, for her service to the Network have included transplant coordinator, senior transplant co-
Donor Network’s medical board. ordinator, and since August 1999, clinical manager.
Prior to joining the Donor Network, Ms. Stewart-Miles was a
Charles Wetli, M.D., Retires: We acknowledge the support
nurse in the adult intensive care unit at Harlem Hospital. She was
over many years of Dr. Charles Wetli, who has retired as the chief
awarded a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the City College of New
medical examiner at the Suffolk County Medical Examiners Ofﬁce.
York in 1993.
Dr. Wetli will continue to serve on the Donor Network’s medical
advisory board, and as the tissue sub-committee chairperson. Jeff Lewis Is Director of Donor
Referral and Recovery Services
Jeff Lewis has been selected to ﬁll the posi-
tion of director of donor referral and recovery
services at the Donor Network. Mr. Lewis was
promoted after serving as a clinical manager at the
Donor Network for the past 10 years.
Before he came to the Donor Network, Mr. Lewis worked as a
nurse in many different settings, including the neurosurgical inten-
sive care unit at the University Hospital of Cleveland; in the open
On September 19, Dr. Charles Wetli was honored at the Donor heart unit at the Cleveland Clinic; and in the trauma and burn units
Network’s headquarters. Seated, front row (unless stated, Donor Network staff at the University of Washington. Mr. Lewis also worked for seven
members): Nancy Gallo, The New York Fire Fighters Skin Bank and a member years at LifeCenter Northwest, the organ procurement organization
of the Donor Network medical board tissue subcommittee; Elaine Berg, Donor in Seattle. He has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from SUNY Brock-
Network president and CEO; Dr. Wetli; and Veronica Fernandez-Ortiz. port and a master’s degree in administrative sciences from Fairleigh
Back row: Brian Roe, LifeNet; Carlo Esposito; David O’Hara; Steve Knapik, Dickinson University.
Lions Eye Bank for Long Island and a Donor Network tissue subcommittee
member; Yuriy Yushkov; Rob Kochik; Corrinne Morgan, Musculoskeletal Other Appointments: Christine Chamberlain has been pro-
Transplant Foundation (MTF) and a tissue subcommittee member; Patricia moted to the role of clinical manager, City/Brooklyn Team. Ms.
Dahl, Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration and a tissue subcommittee member; and Chamberlain was a transplant coordinator at the Donor Network
Steven Sherer. for seven years. Prior to that, she was a charge nurse in the surgical
intensive care unit at New York Hospital Cornell.
Catherine Cullen is the new clinical manager of the North
Donor Network Receives AOPO Award for Team. With more than 20 years of clinical, nursing and administra-
tive experience, Ms. Cullen has worked on the Donor Council at
Expanding Numbers of Workplace Partners
Westchester County Medical Center. She is a former member of the
For the Donor Network’s Workplace Partnership for Life pro- Donor Network’s board of directors.
gram, 2006 was a banner year. At the Association for Organ Procure- Jody Johnson has been promoted to the position of hospital
ment Organizations (AOPO) meeting in Boston in June, the agency services manager for the City/Queens Team. Previously, Ms. John-
received an award for outstanding achievement in the Workplace son worked for ﬁve years as a Donor Network hospital services spe-
Partnership for Life Association Challenge. And, as 2006 came to a cialist in Queens and Brooklyn. Before that, she worked in business
close, 82 partners had enrolled into the year’s roster of partners. development and sales management in the health care industry.
New partners include: NBC Universal, New York Health and Lisa Seymour has been promoted to the newly-created position
Racquet Club, Heartland Brewery, Bodies … the Exhibition, the of learning specialist. Since June 2003, Ms. Seymour was a transplant
Doe Fund, GHI, Ogilvy Public Relations, American Red Cross, and coordinator at the Donor Network. Prior to that, she had six years
Hampton Jitney. Activities in which partners participated include of nursing experience in New York and Vermont.
Donate Life Month in April, and the 12 Weeks of Giving through Maria Torres has been promoted to the position of senior
February 2007. consent specialist. Since July 1997, as a family counselor and then
For information about the Workplace Partnership, contact Juliet as a family services coordinator, Ms. Torres worked with potential
Michaud at 646-291-4453. donor families in the consent process. ■
Arthur (Artie) Michaels
November 7, 1933 - April 12, 2006
By Jo Michaels
My husband, Artie Michaels, was a man of the hour, day, week for getting his Gift of Life not once, but twice.
and year. Whatever he did, he did to completion. An inspiration to Artie devoted most of his time to organizing and preparing
many, we called him “the Energizer Battery.” When he got going, he TRIO’s yearly Rededication Ceremony of Donor Families at the
kept on going. Rose Garden in Eisenhower Park. He met and spoke with anyone
After Artie’s ﬁrst liver transplant, he ran three Bos- who could help, and they could never say no to him.
ton Marathons, beating the transplant team’s cardiologist He also helped with the TRIO newsletter. As pres-
the ﬁrst time he ran. He ran the New York Marathon in ident of TRIO Long Island, he was good at delegating
the November prior to receiving his second liver trans- jobs as well as working them.
plant in December 1996. A lover of donuts, Artie never had a cake for his
After Artie retired from his job as production man- birthday, only donuts.
ager at the New York Law Journal, he put all of his energy Artie never gave up when things got tough for him.
into helping Long Island TRIO (Transplant Recipients He did have his moments, but he loved life too much to
International Organization) with events and activities, as give up. Most of all, he loved his family.
well as volunteering to assist at information tables at post It is with sadness and joy that I write this article, but
ofﬁces and health fairs. He spoke at hospitals and synagogues for we will always be able to remember his smile, laughter, dry humor,
the New York Organ Donor Network. and mostly his HUG. We were married for 31 years, and the family
Everywhere Artie went, people heard his story. He spoke about is grateful that we had 16 extra years with him, and give thanks to his
organ donation no matter where he was. He called this his ‘pay back’ donor families and the transplant team at Mount Sinai.
Financial Contributions Received by the New York Organ Donor Network
The New York Organ Donor Network gratefully accepts ﬁnan- Mr. and Mrs. J. Kevin Lambert; Mrs. Esther S. Lehmann; Ms. Helena L. Leonard;
cial contributions via credit card or personal check. Ms. Christine F. Luludis; Mr. John Marcelliano; Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Malara;
Ms. Arline T. Miller; Mr. and Mrs. William Mitnick; Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Molé;
These funds are used to raise awareness about organ and tissue Ms. Carol Okun; Mr. and Mrs. Ben Plotkin; Mr. Harold S. Pomeranz;
donation. Mr. and Mrs. Gary Post; Mr. and Mrs. Domenico Raguseo; Mr. and Mrs. Daniel B.
For more information, please contact Juliet Michaud at 646- Ramer; Mr. and Mrs. Eric Richter; Ms. Sally Rogers; Ms. Reva I. Rogoff;
291-4453. Mr. and Mrs. William J. Schultz; Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Sontz; Mr. and Mrs. Gerald
M. Topiel; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Traitz; Mr. and Mrs. Claude Turner;
Mr. and Mrs. Franklin A. Urbahns; Mr. Ryan R. Wyllys; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Zwick
We wish to thank the following for their support: In Memory of Francine Sklar: Ms. Michelle Band; Mr. and Mrs. Michael W.
Galvin; Ms. Melissa S. Gordon; Ms. Susan Hudes; Ms. Sandra Leibowitz;
In Memory of Dr. Joseph Amico: Mr. Donald L. Ungar and Ms. Susan Romer
Ms. Florence A. Mims; Ms. Margery Crumpacker; Ms. Christina Panas
In Memory of Nick Antico: Ms. Anna Antico; Bruno, Cicero and Loverde CPAs;
In Memory of Rose Spina: Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Abbate; Mr. Robert G. Aquino;
Mr. and Mrs. Kieran Curley; Mr. Robert Desalvatore; Mr. Leonard Di Costanzo;
Dr. and Mrs. Lewis Burrows; Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey S. Feldman; Miss K. Harland;
Mr. John T. Farag; Mr. and Mrs. Alan Fern; Ms. Cynthia E. Hines-Smith;
Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Huber; Mr. Robert S. Lambiente; Mr. and Mrs. Michael
Ms. Adrienne C. Kellett; Mr. John Livotti; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Mackrell;
T. Nelson; Mr. and Mrs. Peter Nikc; Dr. Christopher A. Orlando; Mr. Howard V.
Mr. and Mrs. James F. Manfredi; Mr. and Mrs. Ray Ortiz; Paul and Joe Quattrocchi;
Place; Mr. and Mrs. John Sartori; Mr. and Mrs. Rocco Valvano;
Ms. Debbie Sipowitz; Ms. Michelle Sodano; The Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation,
Ms. Josephine Vazquez
Inc.; Mr. James Vavas; Mr. Vincent Verderosa; Mr. Harvey Wexelman;
In Memory of Mary Rose Sucich: Mr. and Mrs. James P. Charkalis;
Mr. William J. Wolfe
Ms. Janice C. Ek; Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Farrelly; Mr. and Mrs. Edward F. Finck;
In Memory of Kevin Early: Mr. and Mrs. Vincent R. Butera;
Ms. Marlene Heer; Mr. and Mrs. Werner Lackner; Ms. Tracey E. Levy;
Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas B. Leone; Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas J. Leone;
Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Monaco; Mr. Kenneth Powers; Mr. and Mrs. Richard
Mr. and Mrs. Sergio Leone; Mr. and Mrs. Brian T. Sullivan
Siegmund; Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Stone; Mr. and Mrs. Stanley J. Straub;
In Memory of Gary Grosser: Ms. Vera Burke
Mr. and Mrs. Jorge D. Velez-Ramos; Mr. and Mrs. Steven L. Zettlemoyer
In Memory of Irwin Ketover: Ms. Marcy Morgenbesser
In Memory of Ted Langer: Mr. and Mrs. Elliot M. Perry In Honor of John Johnson and Jessica Greene: Mr. and Mrs. Robert Greene
In Memory of Timothy Liedtke: Mr. and Mrs. John E. McCarthy In Honor of Christopher Piccininni: Mr. and Mrs. John Recigno;
In Memory of Dr. Lawrence Podell: Mr. and Mrs. Roy Taylor Mr. and Mrs. Frank Piccininni
In Memory of Doris Mae Prezioso: OccuNomix International, LLC; In Honor of Julio Anibal Rivera: Theresa A. Cavanaugh
Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Ludwig; Dr. Mark Wasserman’s Ofﬁce In Honor of Rose M. Rozier: Reverend Jesse Sumbry
In Memory of George Ruh: James Dugan, Jr./Knights of Columbus
In Memory of Robert Semon: Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Axinn; We also wish to thank the following for their contributions: Corona Lions
Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Berman; Mr. L. Robert Duffy; Mr. James E. Dzikowski; Universal Foundation, LTD.; Mr. and Mrs. John C. Eisner; Mrs. Joan Rice Franklin;
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Genna; Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Gerardo; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Marcie Mazzola Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. Brian Nelson; Mr. and Mrs. Angelo
Giammona; Mr. and Mrs. Henry D. Gottmann; Mr. and Mrs. Marc B. Karp; Palmeri; Mr. Theodore Propp; David L. Scharf and Co., Inc.;
Mr. and Mrs. Howard Klaiman; Mr. Mitchel C. Krause; Ms. Clara Krejsa; Rabbi David Twersky/Congregation of New Square; Ms. Angela Urquiola
National Donor Sabbath 2006: Religious Leaders Take a Stand
A record number of houses of
worship in the greater New York
metropolitan area, approximately 300, par-
(“Baby Jax”), who received a liver at the age
of 5½ months in 2005, his family and the
Union for Reform Judaism helped to pro-
a daughter of the late Rabbi Schindler.
● Reverend Charles Oduro, the Catholic
chaplain at SUNY Downstate Medical Center,
ticipated in National Donor Sabbath in No- mote Donor Sabbath. Baby Jax is the grand- distributed materials to churches throughout
vember 2006. son and namesake of the late Rabbi Alexan- Brooklyn and preached about the need for
Here are some of the highlights of the der Schindler, who was the president of the donors.
Donor Network’s month-long appeal to re- Union of American Hebrew Congregations ● Queens Federation of Churches included
ligious leaders to promote organ and tissue for more than 23 years. Donation was pro- information about Donor Sabbath in a news-
donation in their communities: moted via a mailing to more than 70 Reform letter that reached more than 150 churches.
● A symposium for African-Americans rabbis, as well as an e-mail blast to Reform ● Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens
about end-of-life care decisions was held at synagogues worldwide that included a letter referred to Donor Sabbath in their newsletter,
Allen AME Church in Jamaica, Queens, on and sermon ideas from Rabbi Judy Schindler, which was mailed to more than 200 parishes.
● A symposium involving religious lead-
ers, on the topic of “Religious, Cultural and
Ethical Perspectives on Organ and Tissue
Donation,” took place at the Cathedral of
St. John the Divine in Manhattan on No-
● A Halachic Organ Donor Society semi- C
nar at Einstein Medical School in the Bronx A B
on November 15 and 16, co-sponsored by
the Donor Network, was attended by rabbis A: Symposium panelists at the Cathedral of St John the Divine, from left: Rev. Carolyn Yard,
and physicians. chaplain, Cornell Burn Center, and Donor Network board member; Imam Abu Namous,
Islamic Cultural Center; Reverend Dennis Dillon, president, Christian Times; and Dr. Uma
● A mailing to more than 18,500 houses of
Mysorekar, president, Hindu Temple Society of North America. B: Halachic Organ Donor
worship was facilitated by The Council of
Society seminar at the Einstein Medical School in the Bronx. C: Rev. Charles Oduro,
Churches of the City of New York.
Catholic chaplain at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Photos: St. John the Divine: Cara Flannery;
● In honor of baby Alexander Schindler HODS: Judah S. Harris (judahsharris.com); Rev. Oduro: SUNY Downstate Medical Center
“Our Fear Should Not Prevent Us From the Possibility
of Saving Lives.” — Rabbi Lisa Grushcow, in Donor Sabbath Sermon
signed my health care proxy, but signing able to know that you wanted to perform
This is an excerpt from the back of my driver’s license was still the this ﬁnal mitzvah.
a sermon delivered hardest thing. It forces us to imagine not only In 1995, a young woman named Alisa
during National Donor dying but being dead. It forces us to imagine Flatow took a year off from college to study
Sabbath 2006 by
our bodies being in the world without us in Jerusalem. While traveling in Israel, she
Rabbi Lisa Grushcow,
Associate Rabbi at inhabiting them. Such imaginings are not was mortally wounded by a Hamas suicide
Congregation Rodeph generally how we like to spend our time. I bomber. As Alisa lay on life support, her
Sholom, a Reform Congregation in understand that. But my discomfort, your parents spoke to each other and their rabbis,
Manhattan. discomfort, our fear should not prevent us and made a decision: they would donate her
Rabbi Grushcow is a Rhodes Scholar and from the possibility of saving lives. And at organs to six people on a waiting list who
the author of Writing the Wayward Wife: the end of the day, that is what organ and were clinging
Rabbinic Interpretations of Sotah. tissue donation is all about. to life.
“May our last act
I am asking you tonight to join me in In the
The sermon is reproduced in its entirety on be godly.”
the Donor Network Web site at: signing the back of your driver’s license. words of Yit-
www.donatelifeny.org/audience/ And I am asking you tonight to speak with zhak Rabin,
au_re_do_judeo.html. those you love, so that if they are ever in prime minister at the time, “Alisa Flatow’s
the terrible place where they are asked what heart [still] beats in Jerusalem.” When the
your wishes would have been, they will know time comes, may we have that privilege: may
W hat stops us from being donors?
What stops us, I believe, is the
deepest fear of all: the fear of death. Now,
the answer. Without their consent, you will
not be able to save a life. And without your
our hearts still beat, and may our lungs still
take in breath; may our eyes still see, and
I have written my will and my living will and guidance and your blessing, they will not be may our last act be godly.
Driving the Point Home About Emily Ratner, The Sadie, “Woman’s Best Friend,”
Donation: Calverton’s Chris Young is a Abraham Joshua Heschel at the Transplant Games: Double-
NASCAR driver at Riverhead Raceway. He School: “I am writing a re- lung recipient Andrea Eisenman was one of
and his wife, Ann, a Brookhaven Memorial source guide about donation more than 1,200 athletes who competed in
Hospital nurse manager, are organ donation for Jewish high school stu- the National Kidney Foundation’s 2006 U.S.
advocates, especially because Keith Goodale, dents.” Emily is the daugh- Transplant Games in Louisville, Kentucky
the son of one of their sponsors, received a ter of Dr. Lloyd Ratner, director of renal from June 16-21, 2006. Team Liberty, from
double lung transplant. and pancreatic transplantation at Colum- New York and New Jersey, won 20 medals,
bia University Medical Center/New York including nine gold.
Presbyterian Hospital, and vice-chair of Andrea, who won the silver in the 5 kilo-
our medical board. meter bicycle race, was
Nina Grossman, Hast- escorted by her mother,
ings High School: “I have Helen; companion Tom
been amazed by the vast Donlon; and her dog, Sa-
misconceptions many have die, wearing a “Team Lib-
about signing up to be an erty” shirt.
organ donor, and feel very At the Games, Sadie
strongly that these should be corrected.” joined in the 5 kilometer
Chris displays the “DONATE LIFE” Nina is the daughter of Dr. Eric Gross- walk and watched Andrea
logo on his car, and donation is promoted man, our medical director. participating in various other events.
over the raceway’s public address system. Patrick Andriola, Cham- We have also learned that Sadie “told” Hel-
After Chris won two races in May 2006 inade High School: “I am en what she thought about the Games. You
in the Modified Division, his racing was put creating an organ donation can ﬁnd it on the Donor Network Web site
on hold. He and Ann devoted their time to awareness Web site for high at www.donatelifeny.org/organ/n_trans-
adopting Leah Natalya from Kazakhstan. school students entitled, plant.html.
Leah arrived home on October 5, and she is Students for the G.O.A.L (Gift ■■■
shown above, with her new mom, dad and Of A Life). Patrick’s grandfather is a liver Farewell, Jessie: We wish our de-
brother, Christopher. recipient. His father is Rocco Andriola, voted volunteer, Jessie Ladson,
We look forward to seeing Chris race Esq., a managing director at Lehman Broth- all the best, as she relocates to
again, and urging people to “donate life.” ers, Inc., Donor Network board member, her hometown, Warsaw, NC. Jes-
■■■ and former board chairperson. sie and her husband, Cleveland,
Summer Interns: We asked our tal- Karly Restrepo, Goshen are the parents of Chakarra, an
ented group of 2006 summer interns — who High School: “It inspires me organ and tissue donor. Jessie is the epitome
were guided by Miriam Perez, a Donor to get the word out about of an organ and tissue donor advocate. We’ll
Network public and professional education giving the gift of life. I will do miss her, but we know she will make quite an
specialist — how their experience inspired so by informing my friends, impact running for the ofﬁce of deputy com-
them. This is what, in part, they told us: family and at school.” missioner of Duplin County in 2007.
National Record Set by Donor Center Launch on Track: Plans Coalition on Donation
NEWS Preservation Unit: Since are moving forward to implement the Donor Is Now DONATE LIFE
the New York Organ Donor Network’s new Donor Center in the second AMERICA: On June 19,
IN Network moved the preserva- quarter of 2007. The network is working with a 2006, the Coalition on Dona-
BRIEF tion of organs in-house from two vendor to develop the software, so that it can tion unveiled its new name:
transplant centers at the end of receive all organ and tissue referrals from donor Donate Life America. As a
April 2005, and became fully in- hospitals. The handling of about 60,000 referral result, the Donate Life brand that has anchored na-
dependent in May 2006, the department has broken calls each year is currently outsourced. Donor tional public service campaigns to promote organ and
a notable record: it perfuses more kidneys than any coordinators are being recruited and trained. tissue donation, has been elevated to the name of the
other organ procurement organization in the United nonproﬁt organization that owns the Donate Life regis-
States. In 2006, the preservation technicians, under Elaine Berg on AOPO Executive tered trademark. Donate Life America is based at the
the management of Yuriy Yushkov, perfused a total Committee: Elaine Berg, the Donor Network headquarters of the United Network for Organ Sharing
of 640 kidneys. president and CEO, was elected to serve on the (UNOS) in Richmond, Va.
The department provides preservation services executive committee of the Association of Organ The New York Organ Donor Network is a member of
for all local organ recoveries, liver and lung ﬂyouts Procurement Organization (AOPO) as secretary/ Donate Life America. The local organization will con-
(recovery of out-of-region livers and lungs), and kid- treasurer. Ms. Berg started in her new capacity in tinue to be known as the Greater New York Coalition
ney imports. June 2006 at the AOPO Annual Meeting. on Donation.
Non Profit Org.
Permit No. 159
132 West 31st Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10001-3406
Phone: 646-291-4444 • Fax: 646-291-4600
24 Hour Hotline: 1-800-GIFT-4-NY (1-800-443-8469)
Web site: www.donatelifeny.org
Donor Network’s New Campaign: Upcoming Events: 2007
Celebrating a Passion for Life February: Black History Month The New
York Organ Donor Network urges African-
The theme of the New York Organ Americans to get the facts about organ and
tissue donation. If you wish to participate, call
Donor Network’s new marketing campaign Karen Cummings at 646-291-4454, or e-mail her
is: “I donate life because I celebrate it.” at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The campaign, created by Philadel-
April: National Donate Life Month April
phia-based advertising agency Red Tette- is designated as a time to promote organ, tissue,
mer, is based on the idea that organ and blood and bone marrow donation awareness.
tissue donors celebrate life conspicuously. To participate in National Donate Life Month,
please call 646-291-4444, and ask to be connect-
Donors have an enormous passion for life ed to the Communications Department.
... and they are eager to share their love of
life with others. April 14: “Remember and Rejoice” Trans-
plant Recipients International Organization
The campaign’s call to action is to in- (TRIO) of Manhattan hosts its 12th Annual
crease substantially the number of enroll- Ecumenical Service from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at
St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. Join TRIO
ments in the New York State Organ and to remember donors and their families, and to
Tissue Donor Registry. rejoice with recipients. No tickets or reservations
In a series of campaign posters, 15 necessary. All welcome. For information, call
people who mirror New York’s diversity,
express the ways in which they celebrate May 15: Third New York City Hepatitis
life. C Walk The walk takes place from Battery Park
to City Hall Park. It is organized by the Latino
In the poster shown here, “Michelle” Organization for Liver Awareness (LOLA). For
is depicted most prominently, saying: “I do- information, call 718-892-8697.
nate life because I celebrate it. I’m singing
and dancing my way through one big cel- ON THE BEAT is published by the New York Organ Donor N e t wo r k , the federally-
ebration of life.” d e s i g n a t e d n o n p r o f i t o r g a n procurement organization (OPO) in the greater New
The overarching message states: “Mil- York metropolitan area, serving 13 million people. The Donor Network is responsible for
the recovery of organs and tissues for transplantation, and the education of health care
lions of New Yorkers celebrate life every professionals and the general public.
day. Some in big ways like volunteering or
Chairperson, Board of Directors: Dale A. Distant, M.D.
helping the homeless. Most in small ways, President/Chief Executive Ofﬁcer: Elaine R. Berg
like singing in the shower or building sand Chairperson, Medical Board: Vivian A. Tellis, M.D., F.A.C.S.
castles. Their passion for life inspired them Communications Director: Julia E. Rivera
Communications Manager/On The Beat Editor: Martin J. Woolf
to become organ and tissue donors. We
hope their stories will move you to do the Commentary and opinion pieces in On The Beat do not necessarily reﬂect the opinions of
same.” the New York Organ Donor Network.