CCMC announces second HOPE partnership

PARKERSBURG – In continuing their efforts to not only aid the people but also be a present member of the local community, the Camden Clark Medical Center announced a second HOPE WORKS partnership.

On Friday, Camden Clark President and CEO Mike King met with Kent Holloway, CEO of Lifeline of Ohio Organ Procurement, Kathy Warhola, a regional representative with the organization, and Marilyn Pongonis, director of communications with the organ procurement group, to announce the new joint venture.

“Organ donation is all about education and our partnership program is all about dispelling rumors,” King said. “I think the more folks are educated and myths are dispelled, the easier it is when the time comes to have the discussion with family.”

Holloway said he is pleased CCMC chose to partner with Lifeline of Ohio Organ Procurement (LOOP), which, although based in Ohio, also works throughout West Virginia to aid those in need but also those who may, one day, be in the position to donate organs, tissue and eyes.

“It is a true honor to be a a part of this,” Holloway said.

King said the majority of the partnership will be through educational outreach that will include billboards and pamphlets as well as discussions with not only patients and families, but also physicians to not only let people know about the need for organ donors, but also what it means to be an organ donor.

“There are so many of the facts (about organ donation) that people don’t understand,” said Warhola. “By working with physicians’ offices and the hospitals, we are able to get the proper information out into the community and, hopefully, save more lives in the process.”

In April, both the Memorial and St. Joseph’s campuses participated in the annual Blue and Green Day campaign that had nurses wearing blue and green to show their support while they also manned informational booths and spoke to other members of hospital staff, patients and visitors about the benefits of being an organ donor.

“One of the biggest myths about being an organ donor is that by registering as an organ donor, you will not receive necessary life-saving treatment in the event of an accident and that is not true,” Pongonis said.

King added this misconception is the number one reason people give for not registering as an organ donor.

“Being a registered organ donor does not mean you will get a phone call from someone wanting a kidney,” said Pongonis. “The West Virginia donor registry is only for donation after death.”

Currently more than 119,000 Americans are waiting for organ and/or tissue transplants with hundreds of them being West Virginians. Of those on the transplant list, roughly 100,000 are waiting for a kidney. Unfortunately, more than 18 people die every day waiting for a healthy organ.

One organ and tissue donor has the ability to save and enhance the lives of more than 50 people after death with the donation of their organs including heart, intestines, kidneys, liver, lungs and pancreas as well as tissues that include bones, corneas, heart valves, skin, tendons and veins.

King said the partnership with LOOP is different from the first HOPE WORKS partnership with the Mid-Ohio Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, which was announced in July.

“The partnership with LOOP is more in-kind with the hospitals getting out into the community and working with the people, where as the Red Cross partnership is more financial,” he said.

Camden Clark will announce the other two partnerships as soon as the formalities are complete.

“These are partnerships of lengthy duration and serious commitment, not a one-time deal, partnerships in the truest sense of specific projects to help the community,” King said. “This (LOOP partnership) is not a simple project and is an on-going sustainable effort.”

HOPE WORKS stands for commitment to Health. . . to building Opportunities . . . creating Partnerships . . . and strengthening Education.

The HOPE WORKS campaign will see CCMC partner with four organizations that are important to the communities of the Mid-Ohio Valley, King said.

“HOPE WORKS was designed specifically as an investment in our community,” he said. “The goal is to strengthen these significant organizations and projects as well as the community.”