Jennifer Tornetta, (O) 609-569-7010, (C) 609-335-3446, jennifer.tornetta@atlanticare.org

Joseph Clark, Jr. (O) 609-272-6318, (C) 609-437-4014,  joseph.clarkjr@atlanticare.org

Karen Muldoon Geus, (O) 215-557-8090 (C) 610-864-1840, kmuldoongeus@donors1.org


For Immediate Release:  April 19, 2018

New Jersey man thankful for the Gift of Life

Heart and kidney recipient shares gratitude with providers, staff of AtlantiCare and Gift of Life Donor Program

AtlantiCare, in collaboration with Gift of Life Donor Program, hosted a staff luncheon Wednesday marking National Donate Life Month. Corey Kurica of Absecon, New Jersey, a patient who received a heart and a kidney, shared his emotional story about his lifesaving transplant surgery. His wife and AtlantiCare employee Nancy, son Matthew and daughter Monica also expressed their heart-felt appreciation to all involved.  Critical Care, operating room, respiratory, trauma, providers and staff who assist patients and families through the donation process were among the attendees. 

“Ten years ago I was given a five-year, 50/50 chance,” Kurica told providers and staff AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Atlantic City Campus. “I made it ten.  It was a long journey waiting for the heart and kidney. “My heart was the starter of my disease. The drugs I took for it affected the kidneys. So my kidneys were shutting down, and when a donor did become available, I was fortunate enough to get both the heart and a kidney.” 

“Corey had been hospitalized at another facility since August, 2017.  In December, he had days or hours to live.  I was really terrified when my phone rang and it was Nancy. But all I heard when I answered the phone was, ‘We’ve got a heart,” said Susan May, administrative director respiratory & rehabilitation Services, AtlantiCare. “They are going to celebrate their 20th anniversary in May and without Gift of Life and all of you here, it wouldn’t be possible.”

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Photo:  Margaret Belfield, executive vice president and chief operating officer, AtlantiCare; Nancy Kurica, respiratory therapist, AtlantiCare; Corey Kurica; Howard M. Nathan, president and chief executive officer, Gift of Life Donor Program; Monica Kurica and Matthew Kurica.

“Today, we honor our patients who choose to give the gift of life to others,” said Margaret Belfield, executive vice president and chief operating officer, AtlantiCare.  “These very special people, and their families, make it possible for so many people to have a better quality of life – and to keep living.”

“The region is very giving and it’s all because of the care you provide them at a very difficult time, said Howard M. Nathan, president and chief executive officer, Gift of Life Donor Program.  “You have done everything you can to save somebody’s life, but you go a step further to offer the option to make a donation, which in turn helps families tremendously.” 

In addition to helping patients and families through the organ donation process, AtlantiCare initiated a flag raising ceremony in 2016 to honor donors and thank their loved ones. These ceremonies take place outside ARMC Mainland and City campuses. The care team for and family and loved ones of the donor sign a Donate Life flag and participate in the flag raising ceremony. The flag flies outside the campus with the American flag for the day. ARMC then gives the flag to the family.




AtlantiCare, a member of Geisinger, 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 5,900 employees and more than 900 physicians serve the community in nearly 90 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.

Gift of Life Donor Program is the non-profit, federally-designated organ procurement organization, serving 11.2 million people across the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware.  Its annual donation rate ranks among the highest in the world. Since 1974, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 46,000 life-saving organs for transplant, and approximately one million tissue transplants have resulted from the generosity of donors and their families.  One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people, and a tissue donor can enhance the lives of up to 75 others. For more information or to register, visit donors1.org.


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