Dear Editor,

Organ donation is important to Penn Highlands Healthcare. Many of our patients – and sometimes family members, friends and co-workers — are in need of life-saving transplants.

At any time, there are nearly 115,000 men, women and children waiting for transplants in the U.S. The need increases daily, and many people do not receive life-saving organs. Twenty people will die each day without receiving an organ transplant, yet 11,000 people will die each year who are considered medically suitable to donate.

At Penn Highlands, we partner with CORE, the Center for Organ Recovery & Education to increase awareness about the need for organ donation. CORE is one of 58 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations, or OPOs, in the United States, serving more than five million people in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, New York.

Like all OPOs, CORE coordinates the surgical recovery and matching of organs, tissues and corneas for transplant within our service region. CORE is also entrusted with the privilege of supporting donor families during the donation process and beyond. CORE’s goal is to end the deaths of those on the transplant waiting list, all the while maintaining integrity for the donation process, dignity for the organ, tissue and cornea donors, and compassion for their families.

CORE partners with the staff from 150 hospitals, as well as funeral directors, coroners and medical examiners, to offer hope and a second chance at life to the thousands of people who are waiting nationwide for life-saving and healing organ, tissue and cornea transplants.

There are many ways to help save lives. This is one that anyone can do. We ask that you might consider being an organ donor someday. Please go to www.core.org/register if you wish to register.

Dr. Russell Cameron

Chief Medical Officer and Chief Medical Informatics Officer

Penn Highlands Healthcare