March 26, 2010

Flags to fly in support of organ donation

Flags to fly in support of organ donation

Vanderbilt University Medical Center will take part in an inaugural flag-raising ceremony to highlight organ donation awareness, set for 11:30 a.m. on Monday, March 29, in the Medical Center plaza next to McDonald's.

This event is part of a national effort called “Flags Across America,” designed to mobilize the national transplant community to educate the public on the need for organ, eye and tissue donation.

Vanderbilt will fly the Donate Life flag throughout the month of April to honor Vanderbilt patients who were organ and/or tissue donors.

Through the generosity of 54 donors, more than 181 lives were saved or dramatically improved through transplantation in 2009.

“As a leading donor hospital in the United States, this is a wonderful way for Vanderbilt to recognize its donor families and the hospital staff in our inpatient units who provide care for these individuals and their families,” said C. Wright Pinson, M.D., MBA, deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs and chief executive officer of the Hospitals and Clinics.

“Flags Across America symbolizes our continued support of these families who have provided the ultimate gift of life through organ and tissue donation.”

Pinson will deliver the address at the event, which is open to all Medical Center staff and faculty.

Also participating in the event will be the parents of Sarah Beth Whitehead, who will share their family's story of organ donation from a parents' perspective.