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June 11, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has been named one of only four Platinum Partners in the 2012-2013 Hospital Champions program, which is aimed at increasing organ, eye and tissue donor registration. The program is supported by Donate Life Ohio, the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) and the Ohio Department of Health’s Second Chance Trust Fund.
In 2012, more than 170 Ohioans died when a lifesaving organ could not be found in time for transplant. The Platinum Partners were honored during this year’s OHA Annual Meeting for their exceptional donation advocacy efforts to reduce that number in 2013.

“Currently, more than 118,000 people nationwide, more than 3,400 of them from Ohio, await a lifesaving organ transplant,” said Dr. Ted Wymyslo, director of the Ohio Department of Health. “By registering new donors and sharing this lifesaving message through the Hospital Champions program, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is saving lives and helping to reduce the time critically ill patients must wait for a second chance at life.”

Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center led a successful “Buckeye for LIFE” awareness campaign that included numerous educational and promotional messages and events to raise awareness and increase organ donor registration in Ohio. During National Donate Life Month in April, 7,600 pinwheels were planted in the Medical Center Plaza to honor every organ or tissue transplant performed at Ohio State since 1967. Ohio State’s Comprehensive Transplant Center partnered with WCMH-TV for a 30-minute program “Your Gift, Their Hope” to share personal stories of those touched by organ donation and transplantation and to provide experts who responded to viewer questions. The campaign successfully raised $25,000 to support research at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Transplant Center, and has the potential to improve 1,700 lives through new donor registrations.

“As central Ohio’s only adult transplant center, we consider it an important part of our service and lifesaving care to increase awareness about organ and tissue donation and living kidney donation,” said Dr. Steven G. Gabbe, CEO of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. “Each donor can have a tremendous impact, and we are honored to work with the Hospital Champions program to encourage more people to become registered donors.”   

“Today we commend The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for their advocacy on behalf of donation and congratulate the organization for earning Platinum status in this statewide program,” said Mike Abrams, OHA president and CEO. “We are thrilled to have their return participation in the 2013-2014 program and look forward to working with Ohio State to extend this important message in the year ahead.”

In total, 57 Hospital Champions were recognized in four categories based on their size and advocacy activities.


Contact: Marti Leitch, Medical Center Public Affairs and Media Relations, 614-293-3737 or