Bedford Memorial Celebrates Donate Life Month

By: Patricia Keith


Jeanne Defibaugh of Northern Bedford knows the life-saving value of organ donation better than most people – her husband is a liver recipient and she is a living kidney donor for a family friend.

Defibaugh spoke at UPMC Bedford Memorial’s flag-raising ceremony Monday to inspire hope, advocacy and passion for National Donate Life Month. Both her husband and her friend have recovered and returned to work.

Nationally, more than 121,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant, explained Misty Enos, communications director at the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE). In 2015, five tissue donations and five cornea donations occurred at UPMC Bedford Memorial.  

UPMC Bedford Memorial has joined the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), CORE and organ procurement organizations throughout the country to inspire hope, advocacy and passion for National Donate Life Month this April. CORE encourages individuals to register to become an organ, tissue and cornea donor. For every person who donates their organs, tissue and corneas, up to 50 lives can be saved or dramatically improved.

HAP award Mary_Emily“Inspiring more people to become organ, tissue and cornea donors, fulfills our mission to be leading advocates for the well-being of our entire community and save even more lives,” said Paula Thomas, vice president of patient services/chief nursing officer at UPMC Bedford Memorial.

At the ceremony, Enos presented HAP’s 2015 Gold Award to UPMC Bedford Memorial unit director Mary Ann Aviles and Emily Parks, clinical coordinator, for their efforts during HAP’s Donate Life Challenge.

For more information about organ donation or to register as a donor, click here.