As support for organ and tissue donation continues to grow, organ transplants are saving more lives than ever before in the Garden State.
NJ Sharing Network, the federally-designated nonprofit organization responsible for the recovery of donated organs and tissue in the state, announced that 92 organs were transplanted in September 2022 – the most ever in a single month in New Jersey. The 92 organs transplanted included 46 kidneys, 20 livers, 13 hearts, 10 lungs and 3 pancreases. New Jersey’s previous record for organs transplanted in a month was 82 – the new record is a 12% increase.
This life-saving transplant milestone underscores a clear trend of growing support for organ and tissue donation in the Garden State. Last year, the number of organ donors in New Jersey reached an all-time high for the third consecutive year. More than 2.7 million New Jerseyans are registered as organ and tissue donors, ranking New Jersey #4 in percentage of state population on the National Donate Life Registry.
“We are saving more lives than ever before through organ and tissue donation and transplantation thanks to the generosity of those in New Jersey. First and foremost, we thank and honor our donor heroes who generously gave the gift of life, as well as their supportive families. The miracle of donation and transplantation would not be possible without the dedicated support and expertise of our clinical staff and hospital partners,” said Joseph S. Roth, President and Chief Executive Officer, NJ Sharing Network.
During the past five years, NJ Sharing Network has increased its family support efforts within local hospitals as team members approached 60% more families to offer the opportunity for their loved ones to become organ donors. NJ Sharing Network team members and volunteers have also boosted education and outreach efforts in diverse communities throughout the state.
“Our dedicated staff is fortunate to be supported by a wide range of community volunteers and partners who are committed to help save lives and improve the health and wellbeing of our neighbors. Together, we offer compassionate care and support to donor families during their most difficult times of grief,” said Carolyn M. Welsh, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of NJ Sharing Network.
According to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), 68% of the New Jersey residents waiting for a life-saving transplant are people of color. NJ Sharing Network earned the prestigious NJBIZ 2021 Healthcare Heroes Award in recognition of its #DonationNeedsDiversity awareness initiative, which is credited with helping to build community trust and dispelling misinformation about donation and transplantation in urban, multicultural communities with the most residents waiting for transplant. The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey also recently honored NJ Sharing Network’s President and CEO Joseph S. Roth as a “Champion of Diversity” for his accomplishments and for leading NJ Sharing Network’s #DonationNeedsDiversity awareness initiative.
According to UNOS, there are over 100,000 Americans – nearly 4,000 of whom live in New Jersey – waiting for a life-saving transplant. One organ and tissue donor can save eight lives and enhance the lives of over 75 others.