BOSTON - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and its Transplant Center is teaming up with the New England Organ Bank (NEOB) to rally area businesses for a lifesaving cause: Educate your employees about saving lives by registering to become an organ and tissue donor.
"One donor can make a difference in the lives of many people," says Martha Pavlakis, MD, a nephrologist and medical director of BIDMC's kidney transplant program. "A liver transplant can be life-saving. A kidney transplant can save a life and free the recipient from dialysis - treatments that can take from 12 to 15 hours a week. A pancreas transplant can free a diabetic from daily insulin injections."
While many BIDMC staff members are already organ donors, the medical center set a goal of adding 100 new employees to take the pledge: sign an organ donor card, put it in their wallets, tell their families about their wishes, and make it official at the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The best way to become an organ and tissue donor is to register when renewing a driver's license.
"There are now almost 3,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant in Massachusetts alone," says Sean Fitzpatrick, NEOB's director of public affairs. "By urging its employees to become donors and by raising awareness of donation among the public, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is playing an important role toward finding a solution and saving more lives."
Increasing awareness is easy. Businesses of 50 or more can arrange for NEOB to come to their workplace and set up information tables, free of charge. Smaller businesses can work with NEOB on other ways to get the word out, including thru internal newsletters, posters, pamphlets, or organ donor cards.
Businesses wishing to accept the challenge should call Fitzpatrick at 800-446-6362.
Those involved so far include: The Boston Red Sox, WCVB-TV Channel 5, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, Covidien, The Home for Little Wanderers, and Old Mutual Asset Management.
A list of the participating businesses, along with a running tally of employee pledges from BIDMC will appear on
along with information about the importance of organ and tissue donation. BIDMC is health partner of thebostonchannel.com.
The Red Sox's participation involves an Organ Donor Awareness Night at Fenway Park on Sept. 10, an effort led by Red Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli. Fans will receive organ donor cards and information when they enter the park.