LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OneLegacy announced today that it will host its ninth annual “Donation & Transplantation Symposium” October 30 at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel and Convention Center in Pomona. With attendance expected to exceed 1,200 healthcare professionals, it will be the largest gathering of its kind in the country.
Physicians, nurses, transplant center staff, pastoral care professionals, palliative care professionals and social workers are among those expected to attend and share messages designed to positively impact donation activity at their hospitals and within their communities. Topics to be discussed include caring for donor families, referral and family support, palliative care, the dynamics of death by neurological criteria, and best practices for aligning donors and recipients.
Delivering the conference’s keynote address will be former Phoenix police officer Jason Schechterle whose book, “Burning Shield,” exemplifies the mystery and beauty of the human spirit and the powerful story of one man’s will to survive in the face of horrific injuries. When a taxi smashed into Schechterle’s patrol car in 2001, the fireball that consumed the vehicle should have killed him, as he suffered severe burns to over 40 percent of his body. But through a series of small miracles, Schechterle survived and began a long, gruesome, gut-wrenching battle back to health. Donated skin grafts helped save and heal Schechterle’s life, and he has undergone more than 50 surgeries just to have the ability to accomplish simple daily tasks often taken for granted.
“We were honored to have Jason ride on our Donate Life Rose Parade Float earlier this year and are equally grateful to have him keynote our October symposium,” said LuCyndi Ramirez, senior vice president of external partnerships for OneLegacy. “He knows firsthand the importance of registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor and will share with conference attendees his amazing and inspirational story of one man’s triumph over tragedy.”
In keeping with the symposium’s theme of “The Rhythm of Life,” the all-day session will focus on “guiding the donation management process and aligning all of the components to work in one smooth and timely rhythm,” said OneLegacy Chief Operating Officer Prasad Garimella. “We also want to provide attendees the tools and information they need to help raise public awareness of the importance and power of being a donor. It is a sad truth that nationwide 22 people die each day while waiting to receive a lifesaving heart, liver, lung, kidney and/or pancreas; but there is simply not enough to fill the need.”
Nationwide, a record 34,772 organ transplants were performed in 2017, using organs from both deceased and living donors. This total is a 3.4 percent increase over 2016 and marks the fifth consecutive record-setting year for transplants in the United States. OneLegacy saw a record number of organ donors in 2017, surpassing the previous mark set just a year earlier. Its 487 organ donors and 2,642 tissue and eye donors in 2017 resulted in 1,374 lifesaving organ transplants and up to 200,000 lives healed through tissue and cornea transplantation.
Registration information for the October 30 Donation & Transplantation Symposium may be obtained at onelegacy.org/symposium.
OneLegacy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and healing lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in seven counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern. Serving more than 200 hospitals, 11 transplant centers, and a diverse population of nearly 20 million, OneLegacy is the largest organ, eye and tissue recovery organization in the world. For more information, visit onelegacy.org, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.