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Honoring donors and their families during National Donate Life Month in April

Middle Tennessee Medical Center raises Donate Life flag

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – April 8, 2013 --- Middle Tennessee Medical Center (MTMC) is pleased to announce it has raised the Donate Life flag during the month of April.  The hospital partners with Tennessee Donor Services to recognize April as National Donate Life Month.  

MTMC joins thousands of hospitals and organizations across the nation in the Donate Life Flags across America program.  The flags are part of efforts to honor the hundreds of thousands of donors, donor family members and recipients.  Organizers also hope it will motivate people to consider the benefits of organ donation and to then join the Donate Life Tennessee Donor Registry.

 “As a donor hospital and recognized bronze medal winner by the 7th National Learning Congress for the Donation and Transplantation Community of Practice, flying the flag is a wonderful way for Middle Tennessee Medical Center to recognize its donor families and the hospital staff who provide care for these individuals and their families,” said Kelly Miles, chief nursing officer for MTMC. “There is surely not a more precious gift than the gift of life.” 

In 2012, 241 Tennesseans gave the gift of life, resulting in 683 lives being saved. 

“Increasing the number of registered organ, eye and tissue donors – to save and enhance lives – is part of our daily work,” said Bridgette Fredenberg, community services director for Tennessee Donor Services. “The month of April honors the lives of those who have given and received, while also providing an opportunity to renew our commitment to saving and enhancing lives through donation and transplantation,” she said. 

“There are now over 110 million registered donors in the US with close to two million in the state of Tennessee; however, the number of people in need of transplants continues to rise.  The solution to decreasing this gap is continued public education about the lifesaving effects of donation and transplantation,” Fredenberg added. 

Right now in the United States there are more than 117,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, over 2,500 of those live in Tennessee.  Every 18 minutes a patient on the waiting list will die, and every 10 minutes a new name will be added. 

Tennesseans can register to be an organ donor by simply Checking YES when applying for or renewing their driver’s license.  A small red heart is placed on the driver license.  Residents can also sign up online by visiting www.donatelifetn.org. 

As of March 27th, 1,831,280 Tennesseans have signed up on the Donate Life Tennessee Organ & Tissue Donor Registry either online or through the Department of Safety.  On average nearly 3,500 people are added each week. 

While the rate falls far short of nationwide goal to register 50 percent of each state’s licensed drivers, Tennessee’s registry is growing quickly.  Donate Life Tennessee is a non‐profit, state‐authorized organ and tissue donor registry, administered by the state’s two organ procurement organizations (OPO), responsible for facilitating the donation process in Tennessee: Tennessee Donor Services and Mid‐South Transplant Foundation. The Donate Life Registry assures that all personal information is kept confidential and stored in a secure database, accessible only to authorized OPO personnel. 

About Middle Tennessee Medical Center

Middle Tennessee Medical Center (MTMC) is a member of Saint Thomas Health, Middle Tennessee’s faith-based, not-for-profit health care system with more than 6,500 associates. Saint Thomas Health is focused on transforming the health care experience and helping people live healthier lives, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. The regional health system includes – Baptist Hospital, Saint Thomas Hospital and The Hospital for Spinal Surgery in Nashville, Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro and Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville – and a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities. Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States For more information, visit www.mtmc.org or www.sths.com.

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