STHS McAllen held a flag raising ceremony to honor donors and those impacted
Healthcare workers enter their profession to serve others. Whether working in a hospital, clinic or other medical setting, their work in educating and caring for patients helps save lives. And one of the greatest ways to make an impact and leave a legacy — by helping save up to eight lives — is to register as an organ, tissue and/or eye donor.
Only 60% of the U.S. population are registered donors, according to organdonor.gov, while more than 100,000 adults and children are on the national transplant waiting list — 10,000 in Texas alone. In 2021, among South Texas Health System’s four acute-care hospitals, 10 patients helped give the gift of life upon their passing. Beyond the life-changing effect of providing organs, through bones, muscles and nerves, donors help enhance the lives of dozens more.
On Friday, April 22, National Donate Life Blue & Green Day, South Texas Health System McAllen held a flag-raising ceremony to commemorate Donate Life Month and encourage hospital staff to register as organ donors if they have not yet. Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA) representatives were also present to answer questions and provide information on organ donation to the more than 30 hospital staff that stopped by to participate and learn more.
“As a hospital system, we see firsthand how great the need is for organ donors,” STHS Chief Nursing Officer Kennetha Foster said. “It’s incredible to see a patient go from a weak state to regaining their strength and zest for life through the generosity of someone who is a stranger to them.
“We were glad to welcome back some of these donor recipients and families of donors to join us for the ceremony. It’s heartwarming to bring the parties together and make that connection. Furthermore, we’re fortunate to have some of the most skillful, compassionate staff in our hospitals who go above and beyond in their roles. For those who have not had the chance yet to register as an organ donor, we wanted to make it easy for them by bringing TOSA here.”
Staff were encouraged to wear blue and green to help raise awareness for the need for donors. The Donate Life flag serves as a symbol of unity, remembrance and hope and is flown for 24 hours to honor those touched by donation, as well as the donors and their families.
“Donate Life Month is the perfect time to reflect on the lives saved thanks to organ donors,” TOSA President & CEO Joseph Nespral said. “We are honored to help individuals and their families create legacies through organ donation. In 2021, TOSA helped a record 260 donors provide hundreds of organs for transplantation. Because of these heroes, others have a second chance at life.”
For more information on becoming an organ donor, visit DonateLifeTexas.org.
About South Texas Health System
South Texas Health System is a multi-facility health care system serving patients throughout the Rio Grande Valley. The system includes four acute care campuses with specialties in pediatrics, heart and vascular services, maternity and women’s health and trauma services. Treatment for behavioral health needs and addictive disorders is also provided through the system’s South Texas Health System Behavioral location. South Texas Health System is affiliated with the South Texas Clinical Partners ACO, Prominence Health Plan, and Cornerstone Regional Hospital. The system operates an advanced Level II Trauma Center at South Texas Health System McAllen, the first and only pediatric ER at South Texas Health System Children’s, a specialized cardiac ER at South Texas Health System Heart, and six freestanding emergency rooms located in and around Weslaco, Mission, Edinburg, McAllen and Alamo. For more information on the system, please visit www.southtexashealthsystem.com.
About Texas Organ Sharing Alliance
Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA), founded in 1975, is one of 57 federally-designated Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) in the United States. TOSA is committed to a mission of saving lives through the power of organ donation by providing organ donation and recovery services to Central and South Texans wishing to donate, and to those waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.
Physicians are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of South Texas Health System. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians.