Newsroom

Our Stories

Toronto’s three transplant hospitals conclude organ donor registration drive

Campaign sees more than 3,000 visits to beadonor.ca/123

Toronto, April 26, 2013

Today, Toronto’s three organ transplant centres, University Health Network, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and St. Michael’s Hospital, conclude their eight-day campaign to bring awareness to the need for organ and tissue donors in Ontario. The joint campaign, fostered through Trillium Gift of Life Network’s workplace registration drive initiative, was formed to raise organ and tissue donor registration rates in Toronto.

Employees, volunteers and visitors to the organizations were encouraged to register their consent to organ and tissue donation at www.BeADonor.ca/123. The original joint goal of 1,500 visits to the registry was reached on the first day of the campaign and reset to 2,250 a 50 per cent increase. After an overwhelming response, the goal was increased again to 3,000 visits.

Trillium Gift of Life’s workplace campaign provides support to organizations running organ and tissue donor registration drives. With more than 3,000 visits to the registry, this tri-hospital campaign is the largest workplace organ donor registration campaign held in Ontario. Registering consent is critical to the outcome of transplant wait list patients.

In 2012, 95 people on the transplant wait list died. One hundred and ninety six families, in the absence of registered consent, declined to donate their loved ones’ organs. Had their family member been registered, an estimated 370 additional lifesaving transplants could have been performed. One donor can save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of up to 75 others through the gift of tissue. Visit www.BeADonor.ca to register or to check your registration status. It is important to note that a signed donor card does not mean you are registered.

Dr. Bob Bell, President and CEO, University Health Network

“Every day we see the impact of organ donation when a patient receives this gift of life,” said Dr. Bob Bell, President and CEO of University Health Network. “And, it is always sobering to remember that this gift comes at a time when grief is overwhelming another family. But we also know that the ability to give often provides some solace and that it is easier when the family knows what their loved one’s wishes are with regard to organ donation. That is why it is important to register and to tell your family what you would want.”

Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO, The Hospital for Sick Children

“Today there are 34 children on the transplant waitlist for liver, kidney, heart, multiple and lung. Each year, we perform more than 60 paediatric transplants at SickKids,” said Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO, The Hospital for Sick Children. “The importance of organ donation cannot be understated!”

Dr. Robert Howard, President and CEO at St. Michael’s Hospital

“The need is so high in Ontario,” said Dr. Robert Howard, President and CEO at St. Michael’s Hospital. “More than 1,000 Ontarians are on a waiting list for a kidney transplant, yet only 22 per cent of Ontarians are registered as organ donors and many people who think they’ve signed up are not officially registered. This drive was a great opportunity to encourage our staff to check and to make sure they were officially registered, and if they weren’t, to consider changing their status.”

Ronnie Gavsie, President and CEO, Trillium Gift of Life Network

“The registration rate in Toronto, 14 per cent, is lower than most Ontario communities. We approached the three transplant hospitals as natural allies to combat this and they instantly agreed to come together to support the cause,” said Ronnie Gavsie, President and CEO of Trillium Gift of Life Network. “We are tremendously grateful to University Health Network, The Hospital for Sick Children and St. Michael’s Hospital and to all our workplace registration partners. Ultimately, registration of consent saves lives.”

The hospitals’ CEOs, including Bob Howard, were the first three participants to check their status at beadonor.ca/123.

 

About University Health Network

University Health Network consists of Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care. It has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research in cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, genomic medicine and rehabilitation medicine. University Health Network is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto. www.uhn.ca.

About The Hospital for Sick Children

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is recognized as one of the world’s foremost paediatric health-care institutions and is Canada’s leading centre dedicated to advancing children’s health through the integration of patient care, research and education. Founded in 1875 and affiliated with the University of Toronto, SickKids is one of Canada’s most research-intensive hospitals and has generated discoveries that have helped children globally. Its mission is to provide the best in complex and specialized family-centred care; pioneer scientific and clinical advancements; share expertise; foster an academic environment that nurtures health-care professionals; and champion an accessible, comprehensive and sustainable child health system. SickKids is proud of its vision of Healthier Children. A Better World.™ For more information, please visit www.sickkids.ca.

About St. Michael’s Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 23 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

About Trillium Gift of Life Network

Trillium Gift of Life Network is a not-for-profit agency of the Government of Ontario responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating and supporting organ and tissue donation for transplantation across Ontario and improving the system so that more lives can be saved.

Contacts:

Janice Nicholson
The Hospital for Sick Children
416-813-6684
Janice.nicholson@sickkids.ca

Leslie Shepherd
St. Michael’s Hospital
416-864-6094
shepherdl@smh.ca

June Pierotti
University Health Network
416-340-3895
June.pierotti@uhn.ca

Leona Hollingsworth
Trillium Gift of Life Network
416-619-2363
416-689-7711
lhollingsworth@giftoflife.on.ca