For Immediate Release:  April 24, 2017

AtlantiCare, Gift of Life Donor Program
honor donors, healthcare teams 

AtlantiCare providers and staff and representatives of Gift of Life gathered Friday, April 14 at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Campus to mark Donate Life Month and to remember and honor the lives of donors who made life-saving organ and tissue donations.

Charisse Payne Pam Peterson JUliann Henry Margaret BelfieldLeft to right are Charisse Payne, Gift of Life hospital service representative; Pamela Peterson, corporate director, Customer Experience, AtlantiCare; Rev. Juliann Henry, MDIV, manager, Pastoral Care, ARMC; and Margaret Belfield, BSN, RN, MSN, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Clinical Services, AtlantiCare. Gift of Life recognized Henry and Peterson for their contributions to the program.

“Donation is about hope,” said Rebecca Johnson, RN, BSN, clinical manager, Critical Care, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Campus. “2016 was a challenging year. But through these tragedies, we have found hope and helped spread hope through life-saving organ and tissue donations made by patients and families.”

Members of the Battipaglia family, of Somers Point, were also in attendance, honoring the life of their son and brother, Vincent. “This was one of the toughest things we have ever gone through,” said Vincent’s brother, Gregory Battipaglia. “AtlantiCare’s staff was absolutely amazing. We developed personal connections with Vincent’s nurses. When they asked if we wanted something good to come out of this, we said yes. Because of this opportunity, he saved two lives.”

Battipaglia family William AdamsThe Battipaglia Family flanks Williams Adams, DO, critical care physician, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, who cared for their son and brother, Vincent. The family joined ARMC staff and providers April 14 for a luncheon honoring organ donors and their families.

In 2016, donors at AtlantiCare’s City and Mainland Campuses made 64 life-saving organ donations, including 37 kidneys, fourteen livers, three hearts, eight lungs, and two pancreata. Other life-enhancing donations included 19 bone, 16 skin, and 40 gifts of sight through corneal donation. “This work could not be accomplished alone,” said Kathy Birkenstock, associate chief nursing officer, ARMC. “Thank you to our donor families for their kindness and generosity, to our staff for their tireless work, and to our partners at Gift of Life.”

Steve Hinkley Greg Laura Gabrielle BattipagliaLeft to right are Steve Hinkley, RN, critical care nurse, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center; Gregory and Laura Battipaglia; and Gabrielle Battipaglia. Hinkley cared for the Battipaglias’ late brother, Vincent, who donated his kidneys last year.

Howard Nathan, president and CEO, Gift of Life, also praised AtlantiCare staff. “You go beyond providing compassionate care in making sure that every family has the opportunity to say yes to donation – and that gives hope to those waiting.” He noted that AtlantiCare has the highest conversion rate of any of Gift of Life’s 131 partner hospitals. “The personal commitment shown by each of you, and the generosity of donor families, is what makes our life-saving work possible.”  Conversion rate is when an individual who is eligible to donate becomes a donor.

guests at GOL luncheonAtlantiCare staff and providers joined Gift of Life representatives April 14 to mark Donate Life month and to honor and organ and tissue donors and their families.

Gift of Life recognized Raymond Ford, security operations manager, ARMC; Rev. Juliann Henry, MDIV, manager, Pastoral Care, ARMC; and Pamela Peterson, corporate director, Customer Experience, AtlantiCare, for their contributions to AtlantiCare’s  support of organ donation and to patient and family care.

About Gift of Life
Since 1974, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 42,000 organ transplants and an estimated 600,000 tissue transplants. Gift of Life's service area includes nearly 11.2 million people, and in 2016 the organization coordinated over 49 organ donors-per-million-population - ranking it among the highest in the world. For more information about organ and tissue donation or to register today, visit www.donors1.org.  It only takes 30 seconds to register.

Contacts:
Jennifer Tornetta, (O) 609-569-7010, (C) 609-335-3446, jennifer.tornetta@atlanticare.org
Betsy Woerner, (O) 609-748-7539, (C) 609-385-6361, betsy.woerner@atlanticare.org
Allison McDaniel, (O) 215-557-8090 x1133, (C) 610-223-4783, amcdaniel@donors1.org

-30-

 ________________________________________________________________________________

AtlantiCare is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,500 employees and more than 900 physicians serve the community in nearly 70 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008 and 2013.