Contact: Laura Shea
April is National Donate Life Month, and Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center is joining the many organizations across the country to become advocates for promoting organ donation in conjunction with their communities.
Every year, more than 1,500 people in New York State receive kidneys, livers, and hearts that have been donated for transplantation. However, with more than 9,000 New Yorkers still on waiting lists, the need for organ donation far exceeds the supply.
Anyone 16 years or older can become an organ donor in New York State by registering online at DonateLife.ny.gov/register, or when you first apply for a driver’s license, learner’s permit, or non-driver ID. If you are enrolled in the registry, New York does not require family consent to carry out your wishes to be an organ, eye, or tissue donor. However, keeping everyone informed will help avoid any confusion or delays.
Claxton-Hepburn works very closely with the team at the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network and the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation. Stefany Carville, RN, BSN, serves as the Medical Center’s organ donation liaison. Carville’s 18 years’ nursing experience at Claxton-Hepburn enables her to work with organ donor patients and their families.
In Carville’s role, she educates staff nurses and providers about organ donation, policy and procedures of organ donation, and when to initiate the phone call to the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network. Carville tracks the hospital’s reporting compliance and shares these numbers with the Medical Center’s Board of Directors. Carville stated, “My role as a nursing supervisor gives me an opportunity to educate the healthcare team about the donation process and share the experiences that I have had with both organ donors and their families.” She continued, “I also share the success of organ/tissue donations with the healthcare team after the donation. One person can give the gift of life up to 50 people by becoming a tissue/bone donor. I recently was the family member involved indeciding to donate my loved one's tissue and bone. The Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network and Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation both are very supportive of the families of the donator for over a year. There are supportive phone calls and reading materials and cards sent to the family that help with the grieving process.”