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Gift of Life Breaks Records with 705 Organ Donors, 1,732 Transplants

Story submitted by Dwendy Johnson

Jan 21, 2022

Gift of Life Donor Program once again leads the nation among all 57 U.S. organ procurement organizations (OPO) in saving lives. For the 14th consecutive year, Gift of Life coordinated the most organs for transplant, achieving the highest number of organ donors ever recorded for a U.S.-based OPO. Thanks to the nation’s most generous community, dedicated staff who work around the clock for each person on the organ waitlist, and hospital partners committed to saving every life possible, in 2021 Gift of Life led the nation in:

  • Most organ donors – coordinated life-saving gifts from 705 organ donors, the most ever in the U.S.
  • Most organs transplanted – those donations resulted in 1,732 transplants, the most in the U.S. in 2021.
  • Most kidneys transplanted – coordinated 1,007 kidney transplants – the most ever in U.S. history. With kidney disease on the rise, and often tied to common conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, this provides hope to all who are waiting. The need is especially prevalent in multicultural communities. In the Gift of Life region’s 14 transplant centers, 56 percent of the kidney recipients were people of color.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Gift of Life Donor Program is the federally designated OPO that serves the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware. Gift of Life’s annual donation rate, 62 organ donors-per-million-population, is among the highest in the world.

Richard Hasz, is the long-time leader of the clinical team behind Gift of Life’s record of excellence. He became President and CEO of Gift of Life Donor Program, Gift of Life Family House, and Transplant Foundation on January 4, after serving as Vice President of Clinical Services since1999.

“I am humbled and inspired by Gift of Life’s community, which year after year is the most generous in the nation for donation. It takes a team of heroes — donors, donor families, Gift of Life staff and hospital partners — to save the lives of people on the organ waitlist. Without each one of them, organ donation would not be possible,” said Hasz. “As I embark on this new chapter as CEO, I know that our team will continue to lead in advocating for the thousands of patients awaiting a second chance at life, honoring all who give the gift of life and providing comfort to donor families. They are unsung heroes, working 24/7 to support families and enabling them to create life-saving legacies for their loved ones. It takes sleepless nights, clinical expertise, and a deep reservoir of compassion. Working together, we strive for a day when no one dies waiting for a transplant.”

There are more than 100,000 people in the U.S. and more than 5,000 in Gift of Life’s service area waiting for life-saving organ transplants. Across the country, 20 people die each day waiting. Choosing to register as an organ and tissue donor is one of the most selfless acts of love and humanity. It only takes 30 seconds to register to help save lives. Learn more and register to save lives.

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