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Image courtesy of ConnectLife
Image courtesy of ConnectLife

Unyts is now ConnectLife


Thu, Aug 15th 2019 12:15 pm

Organization announces name change, new headquarters, continued commitment to saving & enhancing lives in Western New York

Unyts, the only local organ, eye, tissue and blood donor services network, announced Thursday it rebranded to ConnectLife and moved its headquarters to Williamsville.

A press release noted, “While the name and location may be new, the organization will continue to provide lifesaving and enhancing services to Western New Yorkers and beyond.”

“More than a name change, we’ve evolved our brand to better tell the story of how we serve the community and to illuminate the impact that our donor network can make on the lives of our neighbors in need,” said Mark Simon, CEO of ConnectLife. “And, our new location in Williamsville provides a space that better serves our staff’s needs as they work to meet the increasing demands of our business.”

Working with local marketing agency, FARM and its sibling research company, Pathfinder, ConnectLife conducted a market research study during the rebranding process and learned from respondents that, although Unyts had strong name recognition, there was little awareness around everything the organization does to help the community. This fueled the company’s decision to rename the organization to better align with its mission: to connect donors and their families to those whose lives can be saved or enhanced through their support.

“We wanted a name that better represented what we do, which, at its core, is connecting families, neighbors and communities through the gift of blood, organ, eye and tissue donations, and the name ‘ConnectLife’ allows us to do just that,” Simon said. “By raising awareness of our mission and vision, we’ll be able to increase donor participation and forge deeper connections with our current supporters.”

ConnectLife’s strong partnership network is vital to its ability to save and enhance the lives of others.

“The ECMC and Unyts partnership in our community has created hope for thousands of Western New Yorkers,” said Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., Ph.D., ECMC Corp. president and CEO. “The renaming of Unyts to ConnectLife is a great way to communicate the importance of selfless members of community connecting to those in need of donation. We are proud to be part of this effort to continue to educate the community on the importance and power of donation.” 

The ConnectLife Impact

“As a transplant recipient, ConnectLife is more than just a name change but a true testament to my experience with organ donation and the mission that Unyts has worked so hard to achieve in the Buffalo community. A part of me is someone else, and, because of my donor, I am alive today,” said Lea Sobieraski, a local liver transplant recipient. “Their selfless act of donation has given me a second chance at life. The miracle that is organ donation truly connects the lives of so many people, families and communities. And the name ‘ConnectLife’ paints a clearer picture to help people understand the incredible services and mission that exist at the core of this organization.”

The community will be further introduced to ConnectLife at the organization’s eighth annual “Bucket List Bash” on Aug. 22, through its sponsorships with the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres, along with a multichannel marketing awareness campaign.

“We’re the same trusted organization reborn with a greater effort to encourage our community to get involved. Alongside our partners and neighbors, our impact can be boundless,” ConnectLife Board Chairwoman Martha Lamparelli.

For information, visit www.connectlife.org or call 716-529-4300.

More About ConnectLife

ConnectLife helps people help others. As a federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organization and community blood bank, it saves and enhances lives through organ, eye, tissue and blood donations.

ConnectLife works to assist donor families, coordinate the donation process, and provide schools, businesses and community partners with the knowledge needed to make life-saving and life-enhancing decisions. It has routinely helped to secure higher rates of donation across the region than the national average.

The community blood center at ConnectLife is an integral part of the region’s medical community, providing the best blood products possible when hospitals are in need. It is able to react and quickly and efficiently provide blood needed to save someone's life.

ConnectLife is the primary supplier of blood products to Kaleida Health, ECMC, Brooks-TLC Health Network, Eastern Niagara Hospital, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, Olean General Hospital, Wyoming County Community Health System, and Bradford Regional Medical Center. This accounts for more than 75% of the blood needs in WNY.

The press release said, “Our network and success have gone hand-in-hand, and as a result, ConnectLife has been able to spread the message that donation is vital – and donation saves lives.”

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