CHOC has earned national recognition for its efforts to increase organ, eye and tissue donor registrations across the state through the Workplace Partnership for Life (WPFL) Hospital Organ Donation Campaign. The WPFL is a national initiative that unites the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration and the organ donation community with workplaces across the nation in spreading the word about the importance of donation.
The WPFL Hospital Organ Donation Campaign challenges hospitals and healthcare organizations to “let life bloom” by educating their staff, patients, visitors and communities about the critical need for organ, eye and tissue donation, including offering opportunities to register as organ donors. Both CHOC hospital campuses – CHOC in Orange and CHOC at Mission Hospital – earned points for conducting awareness and registry activities between October 2019 and April 2020 and were among 1,700 organizations to participate in the 2020 campaign.
CHOC’s goal was not only to provide the opportunity for organ donation to all families whose child may be eligible, but to ease their grief as well.
Last year, both CHOC locations began the “Walk of Honor,” a practice designed to honor CHOC families’ courageous and selfless decision to donate their child’s organs upon their death.
“One organ donor can save five different lives and it’s something so healing for these families. It helps with grieving process. It’s just a really powerful thing,” says Alisa Brown, manager of the Josie Y.S. Lee Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at CHOC in Orange.
The Walk of Honor is followed by a flag ceremony, where a distinctive flag is raised to commemorate the family’s life-saving decision to donate their child’s organs. The flag flies outside the hospital for a week, serving as a reminder to all who pass below of the CHOC family who gave the ultimate gift through organ donation.
“We had a beautiful Walk of Honor last year that was attended by the whole family and their church community,” said Bronwyn Stackleather, director of patient care services at CHOC Mission. “It was very moving, and we received an amazing letter from the family after sharing with us how much it meant to them to both receive and give such an honor.”
Every 10 minutes, another person is added to the organ transplant waiting list, reaffirming the critical and growing need for registered organ, eye and tissue donors. The 2020 Hospital Campaign efforts added 59,662 registrations to state registries. See the full list of hospitals recognized, and visit www.organdonor.gov/hospital to learn more about the WPFL Hospital Organ Donation Campaign.