Saskatchewan landmarks will be joining others across Canada April 24 to Light it Green for organ donation awareness.
Light it Green is part of National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week April 21-27. In Saskatchewan you will see a number of landmarks, such as (Regina City Hall and the TC Douglas Building as well as St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon) Light it up Green, joining national landmarks such as the CN Tower, Calgary Tower, BC Place and legislative buildings across Canada in increasing awareness of the need for organ and tissue donation.
Every year in Canada, since 1997, the last full week of April has been earmarked to honour donors and their families who gave the gift of life. It also acknowledges the thousands of Canadians still waiting for a transplant and those who have died waiting.
This year, the Ministry of Health has announced a new donor registry will be established in Saskatchewan, as part of approximately $600,000 in funding to support organ donation and transplantation. The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), in collaboration with the Ministry, has introduced new donor physician and registered nurse roles to provide leadership, expertise and education to improve donation performance and increase awareness within the health system.
“Organ and tissue donations are critical, and any opportunity to bring recognition to this issue is important,” said Health Minister Jim Reiter. “This year our government will invest nearly $600,000 to create a provincial organ donor registry. This investment builds upon last year’s recruitment of donor physician and nurses, and is part of an ongoing effort to improve Saskatchewan’s donor rates.”
Lori Garchinksi, Executive Director of Tertiary Care for the SHA, is looking forward to the registry’s launch.
“The SHA’s new donor physicians and donor registered nurses are leading the work to improve donation awareness among our leaders in the health system, which is so important as they are the people we task with initiating these sometimes difficult conversations,” said Garchinski.
Barb Macza knows first-hand just how difficult that conversation with a physician or transplant coordinator can be. Her husband Glenn passed away suddenly and she was left with the decision whether or not she should have his organs donated.
“In consultation, with his family, we agreed to donate multiple organs to those in need but that decision was excruciating. I wish we would have discussed it beforehand with Glenn. This is why I always tell people—talk to your family; let them know your wishes.”
To find out how you can become an organ donor, or for more information about organ donation in Saskatchewan, go to www.saskhealthauthority.ca/organdonation.