Mega Doctor NEWS
BROWNSVILLE – For the fourth consecutive year, Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville has been nationally recognized for its efforts to help bring the gifts of life and sight to the community it serves through its efforts to promote organ donation.
The Platinum Recognition from the Health Resources & Services Administration as part of the National Organ Donation Campaign and Workplace Partnership for Life is a culmination of hours of dedication and teamwork at Valley Baptist-Brownsville. Valley Baptist has received Platinum Recognition each year since 2016.
From administration to physicians to individual departments such as pastoral services and security, there is an entire team at work to promote organ donation efforts at the hospital, said Lydia Touchet, Valley Baptist-Brownsville patient safety officer and one of the driving forces behind organ donation.
“This award reflects the tireless efforts by Valley Baptist-Brownsville leadership and staff to promote organ, cornea, and tissue donation,” she said. “This award also shows that organ donation is important not only to our administration, but to all of Valley Baptist’s departments and employees. Valley Baptist-Brownsville is committed to quality of life by being involved in organ donation, and these awards represent the question we ask ourselves every day, ‘What can we do better to promote and support organ donation?’”
In addition to the hospital-wide recognition, individuals at Valley Baptist have also earned praise for their efforts to promote organ donation. Touchet has been recognized by the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance for her commitment to the cause in both 2016 and 2017, and Valley Baptist CEO Leslie Bingham earned special recognition from the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance in 2018 for her strong leadership commitment and support of organ donation in the Rio Grande Valley.
While Valley Baptist-Brownsville has dedicated itself to raising awareness regarding the importance of organ donation in the Valley, the need for donated organs remains high both locally and throughout the nation. According to the Health Resources & Services Administration, more than 113,000 men, women, children were on the national organ transplant list as of January 2019, and 20 people die each day while awaiting a transplant.
Because 95 percent of adults in the United States support organ donation but only 58 percent are signed up as donors, according to the Health Resources & Services Administration, Touchet said that raising awareness regarding the issue is key to chipping away at the staggering need for organ donation.
“Organ donation means life. By donating our organs, we are not only being charitable, but we are helping others to live a better quality of life,” she said. “It is helping our brothers and sisters to live without having to be hooked up to a dialysis machine for the rest of their lives. It means those in our community will live to see their children and grandchildren and great grandchildren live. When we donate, we go on living in someone else’s body. Our corneas allow others to see better, our bones and tissues help others to walk and participate in other daily activities.”
As part of its efforts to raise awareness regarding organ donation, Valley Baptist-Brownsville also hosts a “Wall of Heroes” celebration each April, inviting the community to honor organ donors and their families for so generously giving the gifts of life and sight.
“The Wall of Heroes celebration is recognition of the families and wonderful people who have been organ donors throughout the year,” Touchet said. “Raising awareness regarding organ donation truly is a joint effort.