President’s Perspective: Organ Donation
I would like to begin by acknowledging that our campus recently lost two exceptional leaders—longtime Texas Medical Center Chairman David M. Underwood, and Memorial Hermann Life Flight Founder Dr. James “Red” Duke. Both left a profound and lasting impact on this campus and will be greatly missed.
This issue of TMC Pulse is an important one, as we are again touching on a topic that impacts countless lives within and beyond our medical center: organ donation. The Texas Medical Center is home to four exceptional organ transplantation programs, valuable collaborations and research efforts in disease and regenerative medicine, LifeGift—a not-for-profit organ procurement organization that helps facilitate donation and transplantation in the medical center—and Nora’s Home, a short-term housing option for transplant patients receiving care in the medical center.
Lives are changed every day thanks to organ donors, but successful transplantation relies heavily on donor registration. On any given day, an average of 22 people die waiting for an organ donation. When you consider that more than 5,000 people die of various causes each day in the United States—though not all are fit to donate vital organs—the odds are good that there could be enough suitable organ donors to help give those 22 individuals the gift of a second chance.
At last count, only 35 percent of residents of Harris County were registered organ donors. We believe our city—and our state—can do better. If you haven’t already, take five minutes and visit DonateLifeTexas.org to register or learn more about what it means to be an organ donor.
Also in this issue of Pulse, you will learn about the dedicated team behind our campus security. The Texas Medical Center is a place of great healing, and also great stress. It is our responsibility to provide a safe environment for patients and their families. Our campus police and security monitor around the clock, and work closely with all of our member institutions and their security teams to take a coordinated approach to safety. I am proud of the work that they do, and the continued efforts to anticipate and respond to the needs of the campus—staff, patients and visitors, alike.