Breast reconstruction awareness increases with Angelina Jolie statement and new proposed legislation
Edison, NJ, May 16, 2013 — Actress Angelina Jolie attracted national attention when she revealed this week that she had undergone a double mastectomy for prophylactic reasons. Her announcement came at the same time as the "Breast Cancer Patient Education Act" (S. 931) was introduced in Congress. The legislation is supported by The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), and the Plastic Surgery Foundation (PSF), originators of the Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) campaign.
MTF, with the support of its recovery partners, joined with ASPS/The PSF to back the first national Breast Reconstruction Awareness day in 2012. As a sponsor, MTF joins the world’s largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in a campaign to support breast cancer survivors’ right to be informed about post-mastectomy breast reconstruction options.
According to the ASPS, since 1998, health plans that offer breast cancer coverage have been required to provide coverage for breast reconstruction and prostheses. Yet published research shows that many women eligible for breast reconstruction following breast cancer, minorities in particular, are not informed of the variety of care options. Approximately 232,340 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, according to the American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States.
The "Breast Cancer Patient Education Act" requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to plan and implement an education campaign to inform women of the availability and coverage of breast reconstruction, prostheses and other options. The Secretary may develop information for distribution or may identify information prepared by other organizations. The educational materials would inform women that breast reconstruction is possible at the time of breast cancer surgery, it may be delayed until after other treatments, or they may choose not to have reconstruction and be informed of the availability of prostheses or breast forms. Also, educational materials would inform breast cancer patients that federal law mandates coverage of breast reconstruction, even if such reconstruction is delayed until after other treatments.
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Edison, NJ, March 29, 2013 — The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF), one of the world's leading tissue banks announces the recipients of its 2013 Research Grants. Since 1987 the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation has been at the forefront of tissue research, with about $35 million awarded through 2012. MTF anticipates awarding close to $2 million in grants and awards in the 2013 calendar year. The 2013 grant recipients approved for funding are:
PEER REVIEW — ESTABLISHED INVESTIGATOR
Treena Arinzeh, Ph.D., New Jersey Institute of Technology, Biomimetic Scaffold for Cartilage Repair
Hani Awad, Ph.D., University of Rochester, Teriparatide and Allograft Cartilage Derived Matrix for Regenerative Repair of Articular Cartilage
Maria Siemionow, M.D., Ph.D., DSc, Cleveland Clinic, Novel Human Allograft Epineural Conduit for Restoration of Long Nerve Defects
J.R. NEFF AWARD
Francis Lee, M.D., Ph.D., Columbia University, Bio-Logical Modification of Structural Bone Allografts
PEER REVIEW – JUNIOR INVESTIGATOR
Daniel Boguszewski, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, Comparing Tension Board Versus In Situ Preconditioning of Allograft Tissues used for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction
Jared Bushman, Ph.D., Rutgers University, Local Immunosuppression and Enhancement of Peripheral Nerve Allografts
James Cray, Ph.D., Georgia Health Sciences University, Use of Stem Cells to Augment Growth Factor Therapies in Non-Healing Bony Defects
Jason Ko, M.D., University of Washington, Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (VCA) of the Elbow: A Study of Vascular Perfusion and Technical Feasibility
X. Lucas Lu, Ph.D., University of Delaware, Early Weight Bearing in the Rehabilitation of Microfracture Surgery
PEER REVIEW – DERMAL
Deepak Narayan, M.D., Yale University, Tissue Engineering of Breast using Acellularized Cadaver Dermis and Pericytes
Mark Lee, M.D., University of California, Davis, Bioengineering Implantable Bone Tissue using Allogenic and Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Daniel Bracey, M.D., Wake Forest University Health Sciences, A Novel Xenograft-Derived Bone Scaffold for Improved Treatment of Critical Bone Defects
Jesse Otero, M.D., Ph.D. University of Iowa, The Role of Osteoclasts in the Growth and Metastasis of Chondrosarcoma: A Mammal Model
For more information on how you can apply for a research grant, contact Hans Burchardt, Ph.D., Vice-President, Scientific Affairs (570-496-3434) or Hans_Burchardt@MTF.org or visit the MTF website.
Edison, NJ, January 2013 – U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. visited the MTF headquarters in Edison recently to learn more about tissue banking. MTF is one of the largest companies in the Congressman’s district, which includes two counties in Central New Jersey.
Rep. Pallone has represented central New Jersey in Congress since 1988. He is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and serves as the top Democrat on the Committee's Subcommittee on Health. That committee has oversight of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), one of MTF’s major regulatory agencies.
MTF’s senior management team, led by President and CEO Bruce Stroever, and Martha Anderson, Executive Vice President, Donor Services, provided information on MTF’s history, structure and mission. This was followed by a detailed discussion of how current and proposed tissue forms are regulated by the FDA. Mark Spilker, Executive Vice President, Research and Development, Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs led a discussion of MTF’s experience with the FDA, including a demonstration of several tissue forms.
Following the briefing, Rep. Pallone’s legislative aide, Tiffany Guarascio, joined MTF staffers for a tour of the Edison facility, including the processing rooms. Frank Wilton, Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) was also present for the meeting and tour.
Both Rep. Pallone and the MTF staff felt the meeting was very helpful as an educational event.
Edison, NJ, December 2012 –The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation announced today that eleven-year old Chase Caspersen of Boelus, NE, a cancer survivor and tissue transplant recipient, will represent MTF on the Donate Life Float at the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade.
At the age of nine Chase was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his right forearm. Two out of three doctors consulted recommended amputation, a frequent treatment for this disease in young people. But Dr. Sean McGarry, an orthopedic surgeon at the University Medical Center of Nebraska and member of the MTF's Medical Board of Trustees, brought the family hope with the possibility of a tissue transplant.
After nine hours of surgery Dr. McGarry was able to remove the tumor without damaging the growth plates in Chase’s arm. Surgical specialists at MTF used x-rays to match the donated graft with Chase. Dr. McGarry then transplanted donated bone and secured it with metal hardware, saving Chase's arm.
Today, Chase is an active sixth-grader playing baseball and video games. Grateful for his second chance and inspired by the service dogs that visited him in the hospital, Chase had the idea to sell dog toys to benefit pediatric cancer research. PetSmart made the program national and Chase hopes his initiative will help children for years to come.
"We are delighted to sponsor Chase and to support the Donate Life Float at the Tournament of Roses Parade. His story highlights the incredible gift of tissue donation and the importance of the work done at MTF," said Martha Anderson, Executive Vice-President, Donor Services.
There has been a Donate Life Float in the Rose Parade since 2004.
The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Edison, NJ, is a national consortium comprised of leading academic medical institutions, organ procurement organizations and tissue recovery organizations. Since its inception in 1987, MTF has received tissue from more than 80,000 donors and distributed more than 4 million grafts for transplantation.
LifeShare Transplant Donor Services of Oklahoma, Inc and MTF Announce New Tissue Recovery Partnership
Edison, NJ, October 2012 – LifeShare Transplant Donor Services of Oklahoma, Inc. based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, announced that it has begun providing musculoskeletal tissue recovery services to the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) whose corporate headquarters are based in Edison, New Jersey.
The two organizations entered into a tissue recovery agreement effective October 1, 2012. LifeShare serves as the federally designated organization dedicated to recovering organs for transplantation in all 77 counties of the state of Oklahoma.
“This partnership combines the key strengths of each of our organizations and allows for excellent client services. Additionally we will be able to improve the process of tissue donation for the families we serve as well as for the hospital staff and other healthcare professionals with whom we work”, stated Jeff Orlowski, CEO of LifeShare.
Bruce Stroever, MTF President and CEO, agreed. “Both organizations are like-minded in our altruistic missions. And because of MTF’s commitment to returning donor tissue to the local community, this new partnership will ensure that surgeons and hospitals in LifeShare’s service area will have priority access to tissue grafts provided by MTF.”
Edison, NJ, October 2012 –The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) has announced that the foundation with the support of its Recovery Partners, have joined with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and The Plastic Surgery Foundation (The PSF) in support of the first national Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day USA on October 17, 2012. As a sponsor, MTF, the nation’s leading tissue bank, joins the world's largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in a campaign to support breast cancer survivors' right to be informed and to choose which breast reconstruction option, following mastectomy, is right for them.
Research shows that 7 out of 10 women diagnosed with breast cancer are not informed of their reconstructive options. In order to address this critical issue, the U.S. and 20 other countries will join together for BRA Day on October 17. BRA Day USA is an initiative designed to promote education, awareness and access regarding breast reconstruction following breast cancer surgery. MTF and its tissue recovery partners are joining this collaborative effort between the ASPS and The PSF.
“We are pleased to be a major national contributor to BRA Day USA,” noted Martha Anderson, MTF executive vice president. “At MTF we have been providing tissue grafts for transplant for 25 years and we understand the impact that reconstructive surgery can have on people’s lives. Thousands of women have been helped by the gift of donated skin, which can help complete the healing from the ravages of breast cancer. Honoring both the tissue donor and the recipient is part of our mission at MTF and this initiative reinforces our mission.
BRA Day for MTF website/2
“MTF and our recovery partners applaud this campaign to better educate those women who are faced with difficult decisions about their breast reconstruction options following mastectomy. BRA Day will help women make more informed choices and we are proud to be part of that effort.”
The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (www.MTF.org), the nation’s leading tissue bank, changes lives by connecting donors and transplant recipients. MTF’s recovery partners include more than 30 leading organ procurement organizations and tissue banks in the U.S. and Canada. As a non-profit service organization, MTF is dedicated to providing quality tissue through a commitment to excellence in education, research, recovery and care for recipients, donors and their families. Since our inception in 1987, MTF has received tissue from more than 90,000 donors and distributed more than 5 million grafts for transplantation, including FlexHD, an acellular dermal matrix that is used in breast reconstruction.
Sponsoring Recovery Partners include:
California Transplant Donor Network
Donor Network of Arizona
Gift of Life Donor Program
Gift of Life Michigan
Legacy of Life Hawaii
LifeShare of Oklahoma
Midwest Transplant Network
Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency
New Jersey Sharing Network Foundation
Wisconsin Tissue Bank
About ASPS and The PSF
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the world. Founded in 1931, the society is composed of board-certified plastic surgeons that perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. The mission of ASPS is to advance quality care to plastic surgery patients by encouraging high standards of training, ethics, physician practice and research in plastic surgery. The Society advocates for patient safety, such as requiring its members to operate in accredited surgical facilities that have passed rigorous external review of equipment and staffing.
ASPS works in concert with The Plastic Surgery Foundation (The PSF), founded in 1948, which supports research, international volunteer programs and visiting professor programs. The foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life of patients through research and development. The PSF accomplishes its mission by providing invaluable support to the research of plastic surgery sciences through a variety of grant programs.
Edison, NJ, August 2012 – Joseph D. Zuckerman, M.D., the Walter A. L. Thompson Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Chair, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF).
Dr. Zuckerman graduated from Cornell University and received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin where he was selected for membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society. He completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals, a fellowship in adult reconstructive surgery and arthritis research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and was a visiting clinician in shoulder surgery at the Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Zuckerman recently served as president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), the world’s largest professional orthopaedic association. He has also served as president of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, and Chair of the Council on Education for the AAOS. He has received the “Teacher of the Year Award” five times from Hospital for Joint Disease orthopaedic residents, and in 2011 he was selected as a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award from NYU. He serves on the editorial boards of several medical journals and has authored 14 textbooks, 81 book chapters and over 300 scientific articles.
“We are honored and privileged to have Dr. Zuckerman join our Board” said Dr. William Tomford, Chair of the MTF Board of Directors. “Dr. Zuckerman is a world renowned orthopaedic surgeon. He will bring outstanding expertise and experience to the MTF Board as it continues to oversee the Foundation’s mission of providing the highest quality tissue grafts and advancing the science of transplantation.”
Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) Partners with CONMED/Linvatec for Sports Medicine Applications
Edison, NJ, January 2012 — MTF announced a new partnership with CONMED Corporation related to the promotion of sports medicine tissues and related products. CONMED’s subsidiary, CONMED Linvatec, will serve as the exclusive world-wide marketing representative for MTF’s sports medicine allograft tissues such as tendons, ligaments and cartilage. Additionally, CONMED Linvatec will assume responsibility for distribution of MTF’s Cascade Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) product which uses a patient’s own blood to aid in the healing process. MTF will continue to be responsible for donor suitability, processing, storage and distribution as well as invoicing hospitals and surgical centers for sports medicine allografts. Upon the close of the agreement, MTF’s current employees of the MTF Sports medicine marketing and surgical consultant group will become employees of CONMED Linvatec.
“CONMED is a very successful sports medicine company with a broad line of products centered around the arthroscopic approach to joint repair. The CONMED sales force of over 200 people will greatly expand our reach and access to the sports surgeon and should have a very positive effect on our tissue distribution in the coming years,” said Bruce Stroever, President and CEO of MTF. “CONMED recognizes how critically important it is for us to continue to educate medical professionals in the latest sports medicine repair techniques, and to continue to safeguard the public’s trust in tissue donation and transplantation.”
The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation, the leading tissue bank in the U.S. is dedicated to providing quality tissue through a commitment to excellence in education, research, recovery and care for recipients, donors and their families. Since its inception in 1987, MTF has received tissue from 90,000 donors and has provided more than 5 million tissue grafts for transplantation. Additional information is available at www.mtf.org.
Edison, NJ, January 2012 — The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) marks its 25th anniversary on January 30, 2012. Since its inception in 1987, the nation's leading tissue bank has received donated tissue from over 90,000 donors and has provided over 5 million grafts to help save or improve lives.
During the past 25 years, MTF has been instrumental in providing high quality tissue allografts to clinicians, hospitals and surgeons. Bone, tendons, and ligaments are used to repair or replace tissue lost to cancer, trauma, joint disease, arthritis and more. Patients with damaged knee ligaments are often treated using a donated Achilles tendon, hamstring, or patellar tendon. Donated skin is a lifeline for severe burn patients, and is also used for breast reconstruction following mastectomy and for abdominal wall reinforcement. In 2011, MTF provided more than 450,000 tissue grafts to hospitals, clinics and surgery centers throughout the United States and in more than 50 countries.
"It is gratifying to see the many accomplishments that have developed from our original vision," said William Tomford, M.D., Chairman of the MTF Board of Directors. "In 1987, MTF received tissue from 83 donors; we've reached many milestones since then. Our future looks bright as we pursue even more progress, partners and alliances to fulfill our mission."
One of the most recent advances is the development of Trinity™ Evolution, a combination of frozen human bone, demineralized bone and native human adult stem cells that can help regenerate healthy bone without the drawbacks sometimes associated with other bone grafting options. Trinity™ Evolution is used for the treatment of musculoskeletal defects, in spinal fusions, foot and ankle surgeries, and to treat complex fractures.
In addition to its research and development advances including the development of new tissue forms and processing technologies, MTF advanced the personal side of its mission in 2007 through a program called Linking Lives Through Letters. This thank-you letter-writing project connects tissue recipients who want donor families to know how the gift of tissue has improved their lives. Since the program began in March 2007, MTF has received over 5,000 thank you letters for tissue donor families.
"In addition to our development of innovative and sophisticated technologies, we never forget who is central to our mission: donors and their families," said Bruce Stroever, MTF President and CEO. "Our success over the past 25 years is also due in large part to our more than 1,100 dedicated employees as well as donation and transplant colleagues who were instrumental in helping us reach this milestone."
Edison, NJ, January 2012 —The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF), the world’s leading tissue bank has announced the recipients of its 2012 Research Grants. Since 1987 the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation has been at the forefront of tissue research, with about $33 million awarded through 2011. MTF anticipates awarding close to $2 million in grants and awards in the 2012 calendar year. The 2012 grant recipients approved for funding are as follows:
PEER REVIEW — ESTABLISHED INVESTIGATOR
Louis Gerstenfeld, Ph.D., Trustees of Boston University, BUMC, Role of Angiogenesis in Bone Repair.
Matt Kipper, Ph.D., Colorado State University, Smart Cortical Allograft for Reconstruction of Large Segmental Defects.
Xinping Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., University of Rochester, Tracking Perivascular Progenitor Cell Contribution to Bone Graft Repair.
J.R. NEFF AWARD
Thomas Brown, Ph.D., The University of Iowa, Automated Shape-Machining of Custom Bone Allograft Implants.
PEER REVIEW — JUNIOR INVESTIGATOR
Chelsea Bahney, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco, Bioresponsive Scaffold Designed to Promote Bone Regeneration Through a Cartilage Intermediate.
Matthew Fisher, Ph.D., Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Controlled Release of Enzymes using Nanofibrous Scaffolds to Improve Integration and Healing Following Meniscal Injury.
Mimi Sammarco, Ph.D., Tulane University, The Revitalization and Optimization of Allografts Prior to Grafting.
Patrick Vavken, M.D., Children’s Hospital, Boston, The Use of Bone Marrow Concentrate to Enhance Achilles Tendon Repair.
Abhijeet Wahegaonkar, M.D., Mayo Clinic, Assessment of Nerve Regeneration and Motor Recovery Following Reconstruction of Long Segmental Nerve Defects of the Upper Trunk in a Rabbit Bracheal Plexus Injury Model. A Comparison between Reversed Autograft and Size-Matched Processed Allograft.
PEER REVIEW — DERMAL
Alexis Armour, M.D., University of Missouri, Acellular Human Dermis as a Scaffold for In Vitro Vascularized Skin Engineering.
Jonathan Schoenecker, M.D., Ph.D., Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Plasminogen Augments Vascular and Osseous Integration of Transplanted Bone.
Chao Xie, M.D., University of Rochester, PTH Effects on Intravenously Delivered hMSC During Skeletal Repair.
Nikolas J. Kazmers, M.D., Washington University, The Role of Hedgehog Signaling in Determining the Osteogenic Response to Mechanical Loading of Bone.
Verena M. Schreiber, M.D., University of Pittsburgh, Bone-Tendon-Bone Versus Soft Tissue Autograft Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: Is there a difference in In Vivo Grant Performance?
The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation is a national consortium comprised of academic medical institutions, organ procurement organizations and tissue recovery organizations. Since our inception in 1987, MTF has received tissue from more than 90,000 donors and distributed more than 4.8 million grafts for transplantation.
Jessup, PA, December 2011 — The International Institute for the Advancement of Medicine (IIAM), and Platinum Training have announced that they have entered into a partnership effective January 3, 2012. Under the terms of the agreement, IIAM will continue to provide donor family services for its Gift of Body program to families throughout the US, working with organ and tissue recovery agencies, hospices and funeral homes. Platinum Training will place anatomic specimens at its own facilities as well as qualified academic medical researchers, medical associations, and health care and biotech companies currently served by both IIAM and Platinum Training. IIAM’s Organ Division will not be affected in any way and will continue to receive referrals and place non-transplantable organs from its network of over 60 organ recovery organization and allied health programs.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of IIAM. With offices in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada, IIAM links humanity and medical discovery by providing donated human tissues for research into cures and treatments for human diseases. Platinum Training operates a growing network of advanced surgical training facilities in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
“I look forward to our new relationship with IIAM,” said Platinum Training CEO, Chuck Oddo. “The commitment, honor and care IIAM has with donor families is unparalleled. This partnership will make it easier for those desiring to donate as well as enhance training and research outcomes for medical professionals.”
“We are equally pleased to have the opportunity to work with Platinum Training,” stated Gina Dunne Smith, General Manager of IIAM. “Thanks to the generosity of donors and their families, human tissues for research have improved the quality of life for countless people afflicted by various diseases. IIAM is honored to continue to work with donor families, and pleased that it can rely on the technological infrastructure of Platinum Training for its Anatomical and Gift of Body Donations.”
Edison, NJ, December 2011 — When an unknown person requested to be his friend on Facebook, MTF tissue recipient Joey Ianiero hesitated and then accepted the invitation. This opened the door to a remarkable friendship between him and Brandon Witt, the step-son of Joey’s tissue donor, which culminated in the two young men riding together in the Donate Life Rose Parade Float in the 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade held on January 2, 2012.
The California sun was not the only thing beaming during the recent parade. Both young men were thrilled and proud to share this experience. During the parade, Joey carried a photo of Brandon’s step-father, Thomas Pettit, whose generous donation enabled Joey to receive a donated Achilles tendon and continue his college baseball career. Joey was visibly moved by the crowd’s reaction to the float passing by and commented that, “Many spectators were weeping and cheering.”
Brandon Witt was also proud to represent his step-father on the float. “The opportunity was unimaginable. I can’t think of how often I thought, ‘why me ?” In addition to Brandon’s participation as a float rider, Thomas’s portrait in flowers, called a floragraph, was also on this year’s float.
The float’s theme this year was One More Day. Through their life-changing experiences, the families of organ and tissue donors, living donors, and recipients of life-saving and improving transplants know intimately the preciousness of time. The float was adorned with clocks of various shapes and sizes and because of its visual appeal, it won the “Judge’s Special Trophy” given for outstanding showmanship and dramatic impact.
"Who knew such positive things could come from such a tragedy,” both young men said, practically in unison!
Philadelphia, PA, November 2011 — The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) has presented its 2011 Nicholas Miller Award for Excellence in Donor Family Care to Cheryl Eshenour of Hershey Pennsylvania. Since the death of her 12 year-old son Jonathan in 1997, Cheryl has been an active leader in Gift of Life Donor Program projects throughout Pennsylvania. MTF sponsors the award to honor volunteer donor family members, staff and organizations affiliated with MTF that support and assist organ and tissue donor families in extraordinary ways.
For the last 10 years, Cheryl has been actively involved in Coalition on Donation, a Harrisburg-area group that not only connects donor and recipient families, but also educations students and residents of Central Pennsylvania on the value and impact of donation.
She was appointed in 2011 by then-governor Tom Ridge to serve on the Advisory Committee to the Governor’s Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Trust Fund. For five years she brought her experience to the Organ Donor Advisory Council, developing a network of counselors throughout the state who received training on organ and tissue donation and how donation affects grief and mourning. Since March 2011, 20 families have been referred to these specially trained counselors, and the program is expected to keep growing.
In her own community, Cheryl established the Jonathan Eshenour Foundation, which helped build a 13-mile trail in Derry Township, Pennsylvania that provides safe access to parks, neighborhoods and commercial businesses. In Philadelphia, her support is instrumental to Gift of Life Family House, which provides housing and support services to families who must travel to the city for transplant-related medical care. Cheryl and her family have pledged to underwrite a guest room at the Family House for $25,000 in memory of Jonathan and Randall Eshenour, Cheryl’s husband, who died of brain cancer in 2008.
“Ten years ago I knew little about organ and tissue donation,” said Cheryl. “Our family and son were treated with such care and compassion by Gift of Life; we have never regretted our choice. Jonathan’s organs gave five other people another chance at life.”
To help other families facing similar challenges, Cheryl created the Garden of Life at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA. The meditative garden is designed to be a welcoming, peaceful, rejuvenating experience for donor families, recipients, and other visitors.
“Cheryl’s strength turned a tragedy into a positive outcome for those awaiting life saving and improving transplants,” said Martha Anderson, Executive VP Donor Services, MTF. “Cheryl’s commitment to donation, her tireless work to support donor families and her compassion have affected thousands of people throughout her sate of Pennsylvania. She is an unparalleled advocate for Gift of Life.”
On November 3, 2011, representatives from MTF and the Eshenour family joined Gift of Life Donor Program in recognizing Cheryl as this year’s winner. The Nicholas Miller Award is named after the eldest son of Thomas and Jayne Miller, a heart transplant recipient and then a cornea donor following his death at age two. Jayne Miller also attended this special ceremony in Philadelphia.
For more information on organ and tissue donation, visit www.donatelife.org
Webinars, online classes and YouTube join traditional educational offerings
Edison, NJ, February 2011 — For the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF), education has always been a core component of its mission. But in 2010, spreading the message about tissue donation and transplantation took on another dimension as internet-based programs joined more traditional offerings to deliver a rich educational mix.
Several of MTF’s educational programs are taking advantage of the new media to provide efficient, easy access for participants:
Tissue professionals working in the field can now get continuing education credits by participating in MTF webinars. The newly launched series offers continuing education credits, which are certified by the ABTC (American Board for Transplant Certification) and CTBS (Certified Tissue Bank Specialists.) Over 850 virtual students participated in the webinars last year.
MTF’s nationwide network of “on call coordinators,” provides a monthly, online education program for tissue donation specialists who work with MTF. The participants need only dial in to the MTF website to update their knowledge of current practices and issues. Every month over 200 participants take advantage of this educational opportunity, earning continuing education units toward maintaining their tissue bank certifications. Since its inception in 1999, over 20,000 people have received credit through this program.
Personal stories about tissue donation have always been an effective way to educate the public about donation. The new MTF YouTube Channel, TheMTF1, launched in 2010 with three moving personal stories that not only educate but also encourage tissue donation. Visit www.YouTube.com/user/TheMTF1 to view the clips and subscribe to the channel to be notified of new postings.
A web simulcast on electronic donor records was a highlight of the Technical Training Symposium, held each year to inform recovery partner employees about MTF’s operations, tissue demands, new research and technological initiatives.
In addition to those internet-based educational programs, MTF continued its commitment to education in many ways last year--
The first Forensic Pathology Workshop focused on increasing the medico-legal community’s understanding of donation and transplantation of tissue.
MTF conducted 105 technical training and educational visits to its 26 organ procurement organization and tissue bank recovery partners.
As part of its ongoing educational program, MTF created and distributed over 6,000 “Giving is Beautiful” award-winning posters to its recovery partners and affiliates for use in professional and public education.
For more information about MTF, visit www.mtf.org.