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ECMC & ConnectLife National Donate Life Month flag-raising.
ECMC & ConnectLife National Donate Life Month flag-raising.

ECMC & ConnectLife host National Donate Life Month event


Mon, Apr 22nd 2024 02:15 pm

Joint effort to raise organ donation awareness, encourage community to register as donors, celebrate generosity of those who have given gift of life

ECMC Press Release

ECMC’s Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation & Kidney Care is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to comprehensive patient care. ConnectLife is Western New York’s only organ, eye, tissue and community blood center. Together, ConnectLife and ECMC are teaming up during Donate Life Month in April to stress the importance of, and need for, organ, eye, tissue and blood donations. ECMC and ConnectLife continue to collaborate and concentrate on increasing the community’s knowledge and understanding about the need for donation and transplantation.

ECMC President and CEO Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., Ph.D., said, “ECMC and ConnectLife have a long-established partnership that is focused on helping to make our community healthier. Today, we celebrate that successful partnership and highlight the importance of critically needed organ donations. But even more significantly, we highlight the kidney donors and recipients, along with our talented clinicians, who have traveled the path of a challenging process – and have contributed to and benefitted from the extraordinary gift of life, which is the hallmark of altruistic organ donation. With a record 151 kidney transplants performed last year at ECMC, we are proud of our role in this truly lifesaving process.”

ConnectLife CEO Kevin Gramlich said, “During the month of April, ConnectLife encourages the community to learn more about organ, eye and tissue donation and the impact it has on thousands of New Yorkers. Together with the Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation & Kidney Care, ConnectLife is working to save and enhance lives in our community every day. ConnectLife is proud of our work and for the relationship we have with ECMC, which is such a vital part of WNY.”

Bob Lester, father of deceased donor Nicole.

Family of deceased donor Nakia Hunter.


New York state currently has the third-highest need for organ donors in the country, and the third-lowest percentage of registered donors nationwide. There are currently over 100,000 people waiting in the U.S., and 10% of these people are from New York. Out of the approximately 9,500 New Yorkers on the waiting list, over 1,700 have been waiting for lifesaving and improving transplants for more than five years. Each year, an estimated 500 men, women and children in the state die due to the shortage of donors.

The Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation and Kidney Care at ECMC is the result of the merging of two transplant programs – from Buffalo General Hospital and ECMC – into a single streamlined, highly specialized program that offers patients world-class care. The mission of the center is to provide lifesaving kidney and pancreas transplants, vascular access surgical care, hemodialysis for outpatients and inpatients, and treatment and disease management services for patients with all stages of chronic kidney disease. This concentration of services results in a greater number of procedures performed, a high level of expertise among the medical staff, and the most favorable outcomes for renal patients at all levels of care. With state-of-the-art technology and procedures for transplant, as well as a growing living donor program, ECMC’s transplantation team is leading the way in True Care.

These life-saving transplants are only possible through the support of ConnectLife’s and ECMC’s physician partners, community organizations and the generous people of WNY.

ConnectLife encourages everyone to commit to becoming a donor by visiting the New York State Donate Life Registry at www.ConnectLife.org/registry and completing a simple enrollment form, or by visiting your local auto bureau.

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