Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association

MEMBER MOMENTS: Southcoast Health Recognizes Donate Life Month with Flag Ceremony

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The following is from Southcoast Health, which on Wednesday held its annual flag-raising ceremony to mark Donate Life Month that has been celebrated every April since 2003:

“For the second year, Southcoast Health was honored to have the family of Sam Ellis – his mother and Southcoast Employee Cheryl Ellis, his sister Sophia-Lynn Bechard, Derek Bechard, and Barbara Sullivan – present at the flag raising to share the story of Sam’s organ donation, after passing away due to a motor vehicle accident three years ago.

‘Donate Life Month is a time to honor and remember those who gave a life-saving donation to someone in need of an organ or tissue transplant – and to inspire others to make the decision to register to donate,’ said David O. McCready, president and CEO of Southcoast Health. ‘On behalf of everyone here at Southcoast Health, I want to express how deeply grateful we are for our community partners, providers, nurses and staff who make this possible. I especially want to thank Sophia-Lynn for sharing her family’s story. This is the single best way to shine a light on the impact and importance of organ donation.’

In 2023, 21 donors across Southcoast Health made 63 organ and 35 tissue transplants possible. So far, in 2024, six lifesaving donors have given 16 organ transplants and 16 tissue donations, officials said.

‘I’m proud to be part of such a giving and compassionate community that supports the importance of organ donation. I want to express my gratitude to all organ donors and their families for their generosity and courage in making the decision to donate – even in the midst of loss and grief,’ said Tonya Johnson, senior vice president and COO for Southcoast Hospitals Group at the event.

All three Southcoast Health Hospitals – Charlton Memorial, St. Luke’s and Tobey – work in collaboration with New England Donor Services, the area’s local designated organ procurement organization, to provide lifesaving donations to individuals in need of an organ or tissue transplant.”