/KODA Blog

KENTUCKY ORGAN DONOR AFFILIATES & KENTUCKY CIRCUIT COURT CLERKS’ TRUST FOR LIFE KENTUCKY SENATE BILL 77 PASSED UNANIMOUSLY

Bill to expand the Commonwealth’s Organ Donor Registration sponsored by Kentucky State Senator Julie Raque Adams (Louisville, KY- February 6, 2019) – Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) and Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life are thrilled to announce Kentucky Senate Bill 77 passed unanimously out of the Senate Health and Welfare Committeethis morning. This groundbreaking bill will amend KRS 311.1947 to expand organ donor registration to the Commonwealth's single sign-on system and will become effective January 1, 2020. KODA and Trust For Life have worked extensively with Senator Julie Raque Adams on this bill to grow the Donor Registry.  The new 8-year Kentucky driver’s license impact on the Registry had put the number of registrations at serious risk.  Currently Circuit Clerks see about 1 million people per year and with the longer renewal cycle, that number could have dropped in half. “We are absolutely elated by the senate’s vote this morning, which firmly cement’s Kentucky’s status as a leader on behalf of organ and tissue donation,” states Shelley Snyder, Executive Director, Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life. “The passage of this bill is the first in the U.S  to create a portal to a registry in this manner.  And we’re especially grateful  to Senator Adams for her sponsorship of SB77, along with her dedication and drive surrounding the importance of an issue which affects so many men, women and children in need.” ###  Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates mission is to provide organ and tissues to those in need and to maintain a profound respect for those who gave. For more information visit kyorgandonor.org. The mission of theKentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life is to inform, educate, and encourage Kentuckians to register as organ and tissue donors to save lives. For more information visit trustforlife.org.  These two nonprofits partner closely to educate and improve the lives of Kentuckians through organ donation and transplantation.

By |2019-02-06T14:22:35+00:00February 6th, 2019|KODA Blog|0 Comments

Show your generous HEART on National Donor Day Feb 14th

February 14th is National Donor Day, which aims to serve as a reminder of the importance of discussing the lifesaving possibilities of organ and tissue donation.  Thanks to the Circuit Court Clerks of Kentucky, showing the heart on your driver’s license is the perfect way to start a conversation about love and legacy. Melissa Cardwell, Butler Co. Circuit Court Clerk said, “We encourage everyone to use National Donor Day to discuss organ donation with those closest to you.  Joining the Organ Donor Registry means you have made the decision to save and heal lives at the time of your death, if you are eligible.  It won’t happen for many years, but at that time, what an amazing gift to give someone a second chance at life.  A last act of love and kindness to another soul.” Currently more than 1,000 people are awaiting a lifesaving transplant in Kentucky with more than 114,000 waiting nationwide.  Every day 22 people die waiting.  Everyone is eligible to register as a donor when you renew your driver’s license or online www.registerme.org.  There are no health or age limits. “When we think of lifesavers, we often think of our military, first responders, and hospital workers.  But each of us can be a hero.  Thinking about what happens after we are gone from this earth may not be easy, but talking about the heroic, generous legacy we hope to leave behind is inspiring,” explains Shelley Snyder, Executive Director of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life Organ Donation Awareness Program.  “You can share the love this National Donor Day by starting the conversation with those closest to you.  Proudly show your generous heart on your license.  Every heart gives hope to those suffering and waiting.” Michelle Branham from Magoffin County, Ky., knows firsthand the miracle of receiving a kidney transplant after she suffered for years from kidney disease. “On Sept. 9, 2017, I received the call that my family and I had long been waiting for. They had a match!  I would be getting a new kidney!” she said. “I will never forget that phone call; I was actually at the Dialysis Center when I was contacted. The excitement I felt was indescribable!  My family and I hurriedly gathered our things and made the trip to meet my transplant team.  All because someone made the choice to give life through organ donation!” Michelle has worked to honor her donor since her transplant. “I’m so lucky to be able to spend time with my daughter and loved ones.  I’m so grateful for my donor, because thanks to them I’m able to see my beautiful daughter play, celebrate special times with loved ones and simply go to the store without struggling and needing assistance with daily things.” The dollar donations at Circuit Court Clerks’ Driver’s License counters and other philanthropic partners, including KODA and Kosair Charities, fund the statewide community outreach and public relations efforts to grow the Registry.  Kentucky was recently recognized by Donate Life America [...]

By |2019-02-05T17:45:35+00:00February 5th, 2019|KODA Blog|0 Comments

KENTUCKY ORGAN DONOR AFFILIATES (KODA) & KENTUCKY CIRCUIT COURT CLERKS’ TRUST FOR LIFE ANTICIPATE WEDNESDAY VOTE ON SENATE BILL 77

Bill passage sponsored by Kentucky State Senator Julie Raque Adams would expand Organ Donor Registration in the Commonwealth (Louisville, KY- February 5, 2019) – Kentucky Senate Bill 77 will be heard in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee this Wednesday morning, February 6. at 10:00 a.m., a bill which would amend KRS 311.1947 to expand organ donor registration to the Commonwealth's single sign-on system and become effective on January 1, 2020. KODA and Trust For Life have worked very closely with Senator Julie Raque Adams on this bill to grow the Donor Registry.  As it stands now, the new 8-year Kentucky driver’s license will have a drastic impact on the Registry.  Currently Circuit Clerks see about 1 million people per year and always inquire about joining the Registry to anyone who isn’t already registered.  With the longer renewal cycle, that number will drop to about 500,000.  Kentucky’s registry is currently adding about 10,000 people per month, which may drop to 5,000 instantly, just due to the lack of audience. “The passage of this bill would be monumental, literally a life-changer for so many men, women and children waiting on transplants.  The passage of this bill would be the first time, in the nation, to create a portal to the registry in this way.  It would confirm Kentucky’s role as a leader on the issue of organ and tissue donation,” states Shelley Snyder, Executive Director, Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life. “And none of this would have been possible without the sponsorship of Senator Julie Raque Adams for SB77. We honor her for her dedication and leadership on an issue that so profoundly affects the well-being of other human beings.” ### Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates mission is to provide organ and tissues to those in need and to maintain a profound respect for those who gave. For more information visit kyorgandonor.org. The mission of theKentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life is to inform, educate, and encourage Kentuckians to register as organ and tissue donors to save lives. For more information visit trustforlife.org.  These two nonprofits partner closely to educate and improve the lives of Kentuckians through organ donation and transplantation.

By |2019-02-05T12:15:29+00:00February 5th, 2019|KODA Blog|0 Comments

KODA Celebrates 2018 as Record Breaking Year for Saving Lives

(Louisville, KY, Jan. 16, 2019):   Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) had a record-setting year in 2018 saving more lives and giving more individuals the gift of living longer.  The organ procurement organization cared for 134 organ donors resulting in 423 organs transplanted.  These were the highest numbers of organ donors and organs transplanted in KODA’s 32-year history. Also, more than 30,000 lives were enhanced by the generosity of the 367 tissue donors.  An additional 1,000 patients have gained the gift of sight through from 824 cornea donors. “Donors and their families make miracles happen by saying ‘yes’ to helping others.  We are honored to facilitate this gift and see the immeasurable impact it makes to patients and their families on the waiting list,” states Julie Bergin, President and CEO of KODA. “I am thankful for the compassion and dedication our staff shows as they honor the gift of donation each and every day.  As we look towards 2019, we are committed to saving more lives through our continued growth and development as an organization.  KODA’s Board and our devoted team members have much to be proud of today and every day.” Nationally, the 36,527 organs transplanted set an annual record for the sixth straight year, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).   Also, there were nearly 6,900 living donor transplants in 2018, the highest total since 2005. “Our clinical functions are only possible because of the ongoing support throughout KODA’s team.  Diligent education efforts in the community and hospitals around the state, quality assurance activities, innovative programs, technology support, supply orders, sterilization, administration, recruitment of new staff have worked to make this year our most successful in history,” states Bergin. Bergin continues stating, “This team goes beyond our KODA staff. This mission is not possible without the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks, Kentucky Lions Eye Bank, Transplant Centers, Hospital Partners, Donate Life Ambassador Volunteers, Kentucky Coroners and Medical Examiners.  These strong partnerships are the reason for the dramatic increase in donation and transplantation here in Kentucky and across the United States.  We will continue to grow our efforts and build upon the successes that have made possible.” For more information about organ, tissue and cornea donation or to register as a donor, please visit www.kyorgandonor.org. ### About Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) is dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. KODA was formed in 1987, pulling together two hospital-based organ procurement groups, to establish a statewide educational and procurement network. KODA is an independent, non-profit organ and tissue procurement agency and was recognized by Louisville Business First as the Nonprofit of the Year in 2011. KODA currently serves 114 counties in Kentucky, 4 counties in southern Indiana and 2 counties in western West Virginia.  KODA partners with the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life in all public education & philanthropy efforts.  For more information, visit http://www.kyorgandonor.org.    

By |2019-01-27T18:14:06+00:00January 16th, 2019|KODA Blog|0 Comments

Media Photo Opp: Sat Jan. 19th New Year Donor Family & Heart Donor Recipient Meet & Greet

KENTUCKY ORGAN DONOR AFFILIATES ANNOUNCE NEW YEAR DONOR FAMILY & HEART DONOR RECIPIENT MEET & GREET Saturday January 19th Welcoming 2019 with a Special Event to Celebrate the Gift of Life WHAT:           During the recent holiday season a Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) family experienced the emotional experience and simultaneous joy of privately meeting their donor son’s heart recipient. On Saturday, January 19, the members of donor Matthew Bishop’s family, and his heart recipient David, along with his family, will be in attendance at KODA’s Louisville headquarters for a very special meet and greet with its staff.  The Bishop family was very moved by the compassion shown to them during the donation process, and they expressed their desire to meet everyone at KODA who makes organ and tissue donations possible. Their understanding of the intricacies of what goes on behind the scenes in order to make the gift of life possible inspired them, and now more than ever they want to share their story to do all they can to shine the spotlight on furthering the mission of organ and tissue donation throughout the Commonwealth. WHEN:           Saturday, January 19, 2019, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. WHERE:          Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates Louisville Classroom, The Peggy Randolph Education Center, 10160 Linn Station Road, Louisville, KY 40223 ### Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) is dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. KODA was formed in 1987, pulling together two hospital-based organ procurement groups to establish a statewide educational and procurement network. KODA is an independent, non-profit organ and tissue procurement agency, which serves 114 counties in Kentucky, 4 counties in southern Indiana and 2 counties in western West Virginia. KODA partners with the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life in all public education and philanthropy efforts.  For more information visit http://www.kyorgandonor.org.

By |2019-01-10T16:48:16+00:00January 10th, 2019|KODA Blog|0 Comments

KODA Response to Article in The Washington Post 12/20/18

Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, Kentucky’s largest organ procurement organization (OPO), serves this community with a core purpose to honor the gift of donation.  We provide education, coordinate organ, and tissue recoveries, and support families to maximize every opportunity for the gift of life.  Everyone at KODA is dedicated to respecting the referral process and having the dialogues that find the pathway to donation. Occasionally we are presented with challenges that may prevent donation from occurring, and our teams are committed to finding ways to allow that gift to be realized.  Our Leadership Team has taken an in‐depth analysis of past and current procedures to ensure the priority is the maximization of organ and tissue donations. “KODA has surpassed all expected performance criteria based on the validated, federally accepted metrics in prior years and is on track for a record number of donations and transplanted organs again in 2019. However, this exceptional performance is not demonstrated in the metrics put forth in the recent article by The Washington Post.  These journalists have manipulated the data set surrounding hospital deaths to imply a significantly larger pool of potential donors than truly exists. Specifically, they have not taken into account the health, religious, and cultural differences that impact authorization and suitability for donation across the various regions of the United States, and especially in the southeast,” says Julie Bergin, BSN, MHA, FACHE, President & CEO of Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates. For over three decades, federal and professional association bodies have researched and developed metrics that have scientific integrity, are meaningful, understandable and risk-adjusted.  KODA has supported these efforts and will continue to work closely with these agencies to ensure we are accurately assessing an opportunity to improve our performance.  We continue to surpass these established standards and receive consistent recertification and accreditation.  Through a process of continuous quality improvement, KODA and all OPOs strive to find avenues to increase the number of donations and transplants, ultimately saving more lives. KODA is proud of two groundbreaking years in a row: 2018 marked our most significant number of lifesaving organs transplanted in our history, 406 organs to date. Donation after cardiac death increased by 380%.  25% of our organ donors were older than age 50.  16% of our organ donors tested positive for Hepatitis C or B.  In 2017, now the third most successful year in KODA’s history, we coordinated the transplantation of 361 organs. In 2018, so far, 358 heroic tissue donors have changed and healed lives. The second highest number in our history.  This is an increase from a groundbreaking year in 2017 of 330 tissue donors.  Each year, an estimated 30,000 recipients are healed through this gift. For the past three years, we have supported and continue to provide aftercare for over 1,500 families who said “yes” to saving and healing lives through transplantation & research. As an organization, we believe there is always an opportunity for process improvement and work to ensure staff is trained, educated and comfortable with all current practices.  [...]

By |2018-12-20T16:54:51+00:00December 20th, 2018|KODA Blog, Uncategorized|0 Comments

KENTUCKY ORGAN DONOR AFFILIATES (KODA) 2018 HIGH SCHOOL DONATE LIFE CHALLENGE RESULTS ANNOUNCED

Thousands of new additions to Donor Registry during Challenge; Students utilized a fun, throwback ‘90s “Bring Color into the World of Donation” theme Throughout the month of October, 31 chapters of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Future Farmers of America (FFA), Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), and Key Club participated in the KODA 2018 High School Challenge to support its Donate Life Kentucky’s mission of increased organ donor recruitment. The results? An incredible 2,876 new names were added to the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. The winning schools who reached a target level in a point system based on outreach activities, and also had the most new signups on RegisterMe.org, participated in activities including registry drives, making commercials, art projects, school-wide assemblies, and social media posts. Many of the school clubs worked with their local Circuit Court Clerk to help promote saving lives through organ donation. The participating clubs were also the first to use a new online educational toolkit and utilized the national award-winning Bridge2Life  app to learn about donation, register their peers and submit pictures of their events as well. “These students were given a very challenging goal, and they absolutely blew it out the water,” states Crysta McGee, Community Educator with KODA and Circuit Clerks’ Trust For Life. “We wanted them all to know that organ donation isn’t just a health issue, it’s a human issue. Every school that participated took this challenge to heart and following the theme, added a lot of wonderful color to the world of donation.” And importantly, there were no losers in this competition as every student group that participated has given hope to the 115,000 children and adults nationally waiting on a lifesaving organ transplant.  The 2018 Donate Life Challenge Winners are: $1,000 1st place winners: Marion County High School FBLA and Area Technology Center HOSA Advisors Chastity Gribbins and Tara Wade $500 2nd place winner: Larue County FFA Advisor Misty Bivens $250 3rd Place winner: Union County High School FBLA Advisor Nathan Tanner $150 4th Place winner: Boyle County High School HOSA Advisor Jennifer Carney Social Media Rock Star: Greenwood High School FBLA Advisor Natalie Dyer Innovation: Doss High School Advisor Sarah Pataluna Spirit Award: Haley Parker, Harrodsburg ATC HOSA For a full list of participating high schools or more information, please contact Crysta McGee at 502.415.0350. ###   About Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) is dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. KODA was formed in 1987, pulling together two hospital-based organ procurement groups to establish a statewide educational and procurement network. KODA is an independent, non-profit organ and tissue procurement agency and was recognized by Louisville Business Firstas Nonprofit of the Year in 2011. KODA currently serves 114 counties in Kentucky, 4 counties in southern Indiana and 2 counties in western West Virginia.  KODA partners with the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life in all public education and philanthropy efforts.  For more information visit http://www.kyorgandonor.org.   About Kentucky [...]

By |2018-11-19T15:06:00+00:00November 19th, 2018|KODA Blog|0 Comments

Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates honored at 2018 Donate Life America Pinnacle Awards

Wins Youth Education and Innovation Creativity Category Award at Annual Convention in Portland, Oregon Kentucky’s Organ Donation Awareness Programs captured three national awards this year, the Youth Education and Innovation Creativity Awards from Donate Life America, as well as the Groundbreaker Award from the American Association for Tissue Banks. The awards are in recognition of the creation of an innovative mobile app for school challenges, Bridge2Life KY, which was developed by the community outreach team of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life and Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates.  Its focus is to engage and educate today’s youth utilizing something they all have in common, technology, particularly as it relates to social media, to support the effort to encourage more Kentuckians to join the Organ Donor Registry. The team implemented a simultaneous statewide high school partnership and challenge with KY HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) and KY FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) clubs, and challenged each club to register at least five new people a day during the one-month period. High school students are young, creative and love social media, and with this in mind they were encouraged to perform certain activities and share on social platforms for which they received points. The school that had the most registries and points at the end of the month won the competition. This activity promoted a culture of donation and encouraged them to be involved, use the Bridge2Life app to obtain information and enable them to register to become a donor on the spot. The results: 1,092 new registries, a record number for a membership drive; 5,000 high school students educated about organ and tissue donation; and participation from 17 schools throughout the state. “The innovative efforts of the team to encourage and empower Kentuckians to register as organ and tissue donors will help save, and heal, lives throughout the Commonwealth.  And those efforts would not have been possible without our partners, all of who joined together to make a positive and profound impact on this mission,” states Crysta McGee, Community Educator. “From the Kentucky’s Circuit Court Clerks’ educational initiatives at driver’s license renewal locations statewide, to biotechnology company Bridge to Life’s sponsorship of the project, and our donor family and recipient volunteers who inspire us all, this is something we, and all Kentuckians, can truly be proud of.” ### Donate Life Americais a 501(c)3 nonprofit alliance of national organizations and Donate Life State Teams across the United States committed to increasing the number of donated organs, eyes and tissue available for transplant to save and heal lives. Donate Life America manages and promotes the national brand for donation, Donate Life℠; develops and executes effective multi-media donor education programs; motivates the American public to register now as organ, eye and tissue donors; manages the National Donate Life Registry, RegisterMe.org; and assists Donate Life State Teams and national partners in facilitating high-performing donor registration programs. For more information, please visit DonateLife.net. Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life’s mission is to inform, [...]

By |2018-11-17T16:43:36+00:00November 17th, 2018|KODA Blog|0 Comments

Letter to the Editor: Monica Brown

November is a month of giving THANKS!  It is a time that many take the time to enjoy family and friends and to remember all the “Good Things” in their life!  Every November begins a new season of “giving,” and it is also a time that many around the world recognize as the “Donor Sabbath” month. During the National Donor Sabbath, faith leaders, donor families, transplant recipients, and donation and transplantation professionals participate in services and programs to increase awareness. This month we remember the need for the lifesaving, enhanced gifts passed to others through transplantation. It is time we continue to encourage people to say “yes” to the organ donation registry.  Those who donate organs, tissues, and blood stem cells restore hope and share gifts beyond measure.  The recipients are full of Thanks! Why is this important to me?  On February 3, 2016, I had a heart attack while driving home from the gym.  I thought I was having muscle spasms; I pulled over on the side of the road hoping that the pain would pass.  It did not pass, in fact, EMS had to pick me up in the parking lot of a corner store. Two days later I was in the hospital waiting for my discharge paperwork when I had my second heart attack. I died with this one! In the words of my youngest son, “the doctors had to put the jumper cables on me.” This was an attempt at his humor as he struggled with what his mom was enduring.  That episode caused me to go into heart failure. Fast forward five months and I find myself in Lexington, KY at the UK Healthcare Heart Transplant Center awaiting a lifesaving heart.  I remember asking myself “how did I get here; how did this happen to me?”  am I needing a new heart, and if I don’t get one, am I going to die sooner rather than later?  It was during this time I remembered that I was registered as an organ donor!  It was at that moment that I truly understood the importance of that question asked by the staff of the Kentucky Circuit Clerks’ offices around the state, “Would you like to register as an organ donor?”  “Would you like to donate to the organ donor awareness program?”  I thought I would be the one giving not the one in need.  On July 27, 2016, I received a new heart!  They told me it was a perfect match! I invite you to join me in honoring those who, at the end of their life, gave life! You too can save lives by registering as an organ donor at RegisterMe.org.  You never know you or someone you love might need a “perfect match!” Forever Thankful, Monica Brown

By |2018-11-12T14:30:59+00:00November 12th, 2018|Jefferson, KODA Blog|0 Comments

KODA has added Four New Members to the Board of Directors

Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) welcomes four new members to its Board of Directors. KODA is one of the 58 organ procurement organizations in the U.S. working to save lives through organ donation and enhance lives through tissue donation.  The Board of Directors is KODA’s governing body and meets periodically to discuss and vote on KODA affairs. Julie Bergin, BSN, MHA, KODA’s president and CEO, said three of the new Board members -- Denisha Henry, Eduardo Pino, M.D., Mike Lutz – have already started their 3-year terms, while Robert “Bo” Cofield Jr. will join in September. The current board chair is Hoyt Burdick, M.D., FACHE, who serves as Chief Medical Officer at Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, W.Va. Bergin said the Board of Directors is essential to KODA’s continued success with its mission. “We truly appreciate the input of our Board members and value the wisdom they can contribute from their various perspectives in business and in the community. We are very fortunate that these leaders have committed to assisting KODA in honoring the gift of donation throughout our service area.” Originally from Louisville, Denisha Henry works as a Clinical Research Coordinator with Associates in Neurology PSC in Lexington, Ky.   She is also a donor mom.  She first became associated with KODA after her daughter T'Neil Martin died in 2010 and was able to save lives as an organ donor.  She has been an active volunteer, served on KODA's Donor Fam Henry ily Council and will become a member of the Board’s Quality Committee. "I am excited to serve on KODA's Board and make a difference in a new way," Henry said. "I am honored to do this in memory of my daughter T'Neil and to make my service on the Board a part of her legacy." Pino Dr. Pino has served many roles at Cabell Huntington Hospital, including being the long-time chair of the Donation Committee.  He currently serves as Medical Director of Hoops Family Children's Hospital.  Also, the Team for West Virginia Children recently honored him with its Service to Children Award.  He will serve on the Board’s Quality Committee, lending insight into the care of pediatric organ and tissue donors and their families. “I am honored to be asked to serve with an organization that has such a noble purpose,” said Dr. Pino. “I hope that I can work to fulfill its mission and thereby help so many others.” Lutz Mike Lutz is the Human Resources General Manager at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Lexington.   Lutz, who will serve on the Strategic Planning Committee, is a transplant recipient and is grateful for his own second chance. “I am very humbled by the opportunity to support and serve on KODA’s Board,” he said. “I want to help others learn more about the life-saving experience I have been through. I can help others to understand the gifts that occur because of generous donors and their families.” Cofield Robert “Bo” Cofield is the Vice [...]

By |2018-08-08T12:43:20+00:00August 8th, 2018|KODA Blog|0 Comments