Newsroom

Date: 3/30/2009

Hospitals of Community Healthcare System honor Life Donors with Silent Salute

During the month of April the Donate Life flag will be flown outside the main entrances at Community Hospital in Munster; St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart every day in observance of National Donate Life Month. Then, in subsequent months, the Donate Life flag will be raised in silent tribute following every organ and tissue donation at the hospitals.

Motorists driving past the front entrances of Community Hospital in Munster, St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart may notice another flag flying under the red, white and blue. During the month of April the Donate Life flag will be flown every day in observance of National Donate Life Month. Then, in subsequent months, the Donate Life flag will be raised in silent tribute following every organ and tissue donation at the hospitals.

“We hope our display of the Donate Life flag will make people stop, take notice and take action to sign up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor,” said John Gorski, Chief Operating Office for Community Healthcare System. “It’s one small way we can salute those who have given someone the most precious gift of all — the gift of life.”

The hospitals of Community Healthcare System are joining a national initiative to honor and celebrate donors and recipients whose lives have been affected by organ, eye and tissue donation. The hospitals will raise the Donate Life flag for 48 hours following each donation as a silent salute and also send a garden-size version of the flag to family members as a keepsake and to honor their loved one’s final act of love and generosity.

“We’re proud to participate in the Fly the Flag program and make such a visible and unified statement about the importance of donation,” said Gorski. “We hope this action will spark residents to make their wishes known by registering as an organ or tissue donor.”

A donor registration drive is planned at Community Hospital, 901 MacArthur Blvd. in Munster, outside the cafeteria from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15. Members from the New Beginnings Transplant Support Group will be on hand to answer questions and assist with registration. Mike Henderson, hospital representative from the Indiana Lions Eye Bank and Alice Jenkins, hospital development coordinator from Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network also will be at the hospital’s registration drive to answer questions concerning donations. Call 219-793-3904 for more information.

In addition, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and Donate Life Indiana have teamed up so that Indiana residents can register their intent to be organ and tissue donors while obtaining or renewing their drivers’ license. On the application of all licenses and non-driver identification cards, a space exists in which the holder can indicate his or her intention to make an anatomical gift and to indicate the extent of that gift. An individual’s wish to be a donor is designated by a red heart on the front of the license or ID card.

It is important to remember to discuss your choice to be a donor with family members so that when the time comes, they will be able to honor your wishes to give the gift of life, said Sara Pace Jones, Donate Life America chairman.

Currently, under Indiana’s Donor Choice Law, individuals 18 and older may declare their intention to donate, and family members are not able to override that intention at the time of death. Individuals under age 18 may declare their donation intentions with the permission of a parent or legal guardian, who must also provide consent for donation at the time of a minor’s death.

Registration also is accepted at www.donatelifeindiana.org.

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