House Majority Policy Committee talks organ donation, education during roundtable discussion
Advocates say more organ donation registration opportunities needed in PA
O’HARA TWP, Aug. 8—The House Majority Policy Committee hosted a roundtable discussion Tuesday morning to discuss the importance of organ donation and education, along with finding ways to increase opportunities to register as a donor.
Members of the Policy Committee visited the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) for a conversation with organ donation advocates on how vital it is to get as many people registered as possible.
“One organ donor can save the lives of eight people as well as provide life-changing quality of life improvements to another 75 people,” said House Majority Policy Chairman Ryan Bizzarro (D-Erie). “Organ donation is a selfless, harmless way to help save the lives of many people. I am an organ donor, and I would encourage everyone to take just a few minutes today to register to become an organ donor as well.”
There are approximately 7,000 people in Pennsylvania currently awaiting transplantation. Of the nearly 10 million Pennsylvania residents, approximately 4.9 million people – or 49% – are currently registered to be an organ donor.
“We are happy to welcome members of the state delegation, particularly in the wake of the highly successful PA Donor Day on August 1. Today is a chance for CORE to showcase the innovations and unwavering commitment to excellence that have led to four consecutive record-breaking years of donation and transplantation across western Pennsylvania," said Susan Stuart, CORE President/CEO. “More importantly, this visit grants us a crucial opportunity to collaboratively chart a course toward meaningful change that holds the potential to save and heal even more lives through donation—both within Pennsylvania and well beyond our borders."
CORE says 2022 was a record-breaking year, in which the organization helped facilitate 858 life-saving transplants made by 334 donors through heart, kidney, and cornea transplants. Additionally, CORE reported it’s second-highest number of tissue donors in 2022 with 1,297 donors in total. CORE says the barriers to registering more organ donors in Pennsylvania include the lack of registration opportunities and education surrounding the topic.
“A new person is added to the national transplant list every ten minutes. With only half of the Pennsylvania population registered to be an organ donor, we need to do everything we can to get as many people as possible to sign up,” said Rep. Mandy Steele (D-Allegheny). “Anyone can register to be an organ donor, regardless of medical history. It’s a safe, free, and respectful process that has the ability to positively impact many lives.”
Bizzarro, Steele, and House Health Committee Chairman Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) will soon be introducing legislation to give Pennsylvanians more ways to register as an organ donor through various license processes.
Information about this hearing and other House Majority Policy Committee hearings can be found at pahouse.com/policy.