Upper Chesapeake Health in Harford and Cecil counties is one of more than 20 Maryland hospitals and organizations promoting organ and tissue donation awareness by flying or displaying flags that read "Honoring Organ, Eye and Tissue Donors" during April.
Maryland's flag-flying campaign — the first in the state — is part of a national effort to bolster organ donor registries in April, which is National Donate Life Month. Hospital team members are hoping the new 3-foot by 5-foot flags will motivate their community to consider the benefits of organ, eye and tissue donation and as a result, register their decision to be a designated donor on the Maryland Donor Registry.
Both of UCH's hospitals — Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace and Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air — held special flag-raising ceremonies Wednesday attended by members of spiritual services, donor recipient families and other guests.
"Organ and tissue donation can save and improve lives in our community, around Maryland and across the nation, and Upper Chesapeake Health wants to help drive that point home with this symbolic flag," Terrence Moody, director of nursing/acute care services at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, said in a news release. "Joining the Maryland Donor Registry gives hope to those in need of organ and tissue transplants, while leaving a legacy of generosity for the donor and his or her family."
Maryland's flag campaign and efforts to promote organ, tissue and eye donation are sponsored by The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland, the Maryland Hospital Association, Donate Life Maryland and Motor Vehicle Administration.
According to Upper Chesapeake Health, nearly 2,000 Maryland residents are waiting to receive life-saving hearts, livers, lungs, kidneys and other organs. Last year 124 Marylanders graciously said yes to donation, gave the gift of life, and provided a second chance at life to more than 380 individuals.
For more information about organ, eye and tissue donation, log on to http://www.thellf.org or http://www.donatelifemaryland.org.