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Winthrop University Hospital

A Celebration of Life



While there is something very special about donating to a worthy cause, there is no donation that is more precious than the gift of life. In honor of National Donate Life Month – a time when the nation reflects on the importance of saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation – Winthrop-University Hospital was honored to participate in a special flag raising ceremony to commemorate its significance.

Representatives from the New York Organ Donor Network presented Winthrop with an Organ and Tissue Donation flag in honor of the Hospital’s deep commitment to and success in raising awareness of and participation in organ and tissue donation. Members of Hospital administration, staff, as well as a proud donor family and gracious recipient and loved ones gathered at the Winthrop flag pole outside of the Hospital’s Emergency Department to mark the special occasion.

The ceremony began with a welcome from Winthrop-University Hospital President & CEO John F. Collins, who thanked the community for their commitment to saving lives through organ and tissue donation and encouraged those who have not, to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry.

Barbara Kohart Kleine, Vice President, Administration, and Chair of the Organ Donor Task Force at Winthrop, shared heart-felt sentiments about the profound impact that organ donation has had on many families, including the Crimeni family of Westbury, who made the monumental decision to donate their 27-year-old son Vincenzo’s organs when he suddenly passed away in 2008; and the Coico family of Farmingdale – who are forever grateful for the gift of life that their 21-year-old son Sal received as a result of the Crimeni family’s courageous decision.

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“For those of us who have had the opportunity to ‘give’ the gift of life on behalf of our loved ones, or those who have benefited from the ‘gift’ itself… it is, without a doubt, an experience that will stay with you forever,” said Ms. Kohart Kleine, “for whether you have given or received, you have become a part of a very special group of people who were there for each other in a life-saving effort.”

During the ceremony, the Crimeni family was presented with a Medal of Honor by the New York Organ Donor Network for their generous participation in the organ donation process and for their commitment to raising awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation.

In addition to receiving the Organ and Tissue Donation flag for display outside of the hospital, Winthrop had the privilege of displaying a panel of the New York Organ Donor Network Memory Quilt during National Donate Life Month. The hand-crafted squares on the Memory Quilt were created by donor families to commemorate the lives of their loved ones. The squares are stitched together and surrounded by a framework with the embroidered names of transplant recipients. The acknowledgment of donors and recipients symbolizes the “circle of life.”

Winthrop-University Hospital is proud of its commitment to organ donation. In 2006, the Hospital was honored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with the Organ Donor Network Medal of Honor for its high rate of organ and tissue donations.

For more information about becoming an organ donor, please call the New York Organ Donor Network at 1-800-GIFT-4-NY (1-800-443-8469) or visit www.donatelifeny.org.
Vol. 19, No. 2
Summer 2009

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