For Second Consecutive Year, CORE Breaks Organ Donation Record
Undeterred by Pandemic Year, CORE Saves Nearly 800 Lives, Credits Organ Donors and Hospital Partners
The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) announced today that 2020 was the second record-breaking year in a row for Saving and Healing lives through organ, tissue and cornea donation in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
CORE, the nonprofit organization that facilitates organ, tissue and cornea donation in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, New York, made possible 792 life-saving organ transplants in 2020 – an increase of nearly 20% over 2019. The increase is credited to the generosity of 324 donors – 28% more than the previous year. The number of tissue and cornea donors increased by 9%, equating to healing and restored sight to more than 90,000 people.
“CORE is excited to announce that, in 2020, we had a record-breaking year,” said Susan Stuart, president and CEO of CORE. “In 2020, we saw an increase of 43% more heart transplants, 15% more kidney transplants and 39% more liver transplants. This success translates into recipients who have been given a second chance at life. Although, none of these second chances would be possible without our selfless donors and their families who said yes to organ donation, and to the hospital partners that we are honored to work with. During this challenging year, our hospital partners worked with us so that we could be resilient and agile, ultimately continuing and achieving our mission. To them, we say thank you. Our work is not finished, and in 2021, we are challenging ourselves to set a new record – we know that there are nearly 110,000 transplant candidates counting on us for their second chance.”
For the first time, in 2020, CORE entered the new year as a recognized Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winner, a distinction awarded by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The Baldrige Award is the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence that a U.S. organization can receive. CORE is one of only five Pennsylvania and two West Virginia organizations ever to achieve the Baldrige Award in the award’s more than 30-year history. CORE also celebrated in 2020 the one-year anniversary of its partnership with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources and W.Va. Governor Jim Justice, which has allowed more than 25,000 West Virginians to register as organ donors when they purchase a hunting and fishing license thanks to historic legislation passed the year prior.
Even with CORE’s record-breaking year, the need for donors remains critical. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the part-time closure of DMVs, fewer people have registered as organ donors in 2020. Every 10 minutes, someone is added to the national transplant waiting list, yet only half of Pennsylvanians and a third of West Virginians are registered as organ donors.
One person can save the lives of eight by donating organs and heal the lives of 75 through tissue donation. Anyone can sign up to be a donor, regardless of age or medical history. Register as an organ, tissue and cornea donor today at registerme.org/core.
The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 57 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the United States, serving more than five million people in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, New York. CORE coordinates the recovery and matching of organs, tissues and corneas for transplant within our service region and works tirelessly to create a culture of donation within the hospitals and communities we serve. CORE’s mission is to Save and Heal lives through donation, ultimately ending the deaths of those on the transplant waiting list, while maintaining integrity for the donation process, dignity for the donors, and compassion for their families. CORE is a winner of the 2019 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, a presidential-level award that recognizes non-profits for their innovation and excellence. For more information, visit core.org or call 1-800-DONORS-7.