Published on May 15, 2017

Reading Health to Raise Special Flag on May 17 to Signify Commitment to Organ Donations

On Wednesday, May 17, Reading Health System will raise a "2017 Pennsylvania Donate Life Hospital Challenge" flag to signify its commitment to raising awareness of the importance of organ donations.

The flag raising will take place at 11:30 a.m. at the 5th Avenue entrance of Reading Hospital.

Reading Health System is participating in the 2017 Pennsylvania Donate Life Hospital Challenge. The challenge, which runs from April 1 through August 31, 2017, encourages Pennsylvania hospitals to implement strategies that increase awareness and enrollment in state organ donor registries.

Organ donations save lives. One organ, tissue and eye donor may save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of up to 75 others. Nationally, 118,000 people are waiting for a transplant, and 22 people die each day because an appropriate match was not found in time.

In our region, more than 5,400 people are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. To date, less than 50 percent of Pennsylvania residents are registered to donate their organs. The 2017 Pennsylvania Donate Life Hospital Challenge is designed to improve that statistic.

The challenge is supported by the Hospital and HealthSystem Association of Pennsylvania, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and two regional organ procurement organizations - the Center for Organ Recovery & Education, and the Gift of Life Donor Program.

Hospitals will score points based on the challenge activities they create, and they are eligible to achieve titanium, platinum, gold, silver or bronze awards, depending on their final score. The biggest motivator, however, is that hospital participation has the potential to increase awareness and the number of organ donors in the state.