Heart transplants at Providence, highlight on National Donate Life Month

Authors: Jill Gelow, M.D., medical director, Providence Heart Transplant Program
Kevin Koomalsingh, M.D., surgical director, Providence Heart Transplant Program

With more than 3,500 people in the U.S. awaiting a lifesaving heart transplant, we’re passionate about discussing the importance of organ and tissue donation. April is National Donate Life Month, and we’re reminding everyone to sign up to become a donor.

Equally important is talking with family and friends about your decision to register as a donor. We encourage everyone to have this conversation now with your loved ones, so that during a difficult, emotional time they have the tools they need to follow your decisions and wishes.

Every donor can help save the lives of multiple people. Click on this link to see some stories from Donate Life Northwest about recipients in the Pacific Northwest whose lives have been enhanced or saved through organ donation.

Providence Heart Transplant Program

In addition to our patients and their families who inspire us every day, the Providence heart transplant team is grateful to the entire Providence St. Vincent Medical Center campus and Providence Heart Institute, generous philanthropic donors who have supported the heart institute for many years, community partners and many others.

“This requires a huge team of dedicated people throughout Providence, and the heart transplant program’s success is everyone’s success,” said Dan Oseran, M.D., executive medical director, Providence Heart Institute.

Of particular note are cardiologists in the community who entrust us to help care for their patients with heart failure. We provide patients with medical and surgical care to treat their heart failure. We are honored to work in partnership with community providers in caring for these vulnerable patients and their families.

National statistics at a glance*

  • In 2021, more than 41,000 transplants from 20,300 donors brought renewed life to patients and their families and communities.
  • More than 100,000 people are waiting for all types of lifesaving organ transplants (including 912 Oregonians).
  • 60% of patients awaiting lifesaving transplants are minorities.
  • Another person is added to the national organ transplant waiting list every 9 minutes.
  • There are 17 people who die each day while waiting for a transplant. In 2020, there were 6,151 transplant candidates who died while on the national transplant waiting list.

How to register to become an organ donor

National Donate Life Month (NDLM) was established by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations in 2003. Observed in April each year, National Donate Life Month helps raise awareness about donation, encourages Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and honors those who have saved lives through the gift of donation.

  • To register your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor, you have several options:
    • Through the National Donate Life Registry: RegisterMe.org
    • On your driver’s license, though DMV
    • On your iPhone Health App
  • For more information about organ, eye, tissue and living donation, please visit DonateLife.net.


For more information

  • To refer a patient to Providence Heart Failure/Transplant Program:

216-1182 (option #3 for providers)


*Data sources:

Based on OPTN data as of January 10, 2022; https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/

2020 Annual Data Report. Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients; https://srtr.transplant.hrsa.gov/annual_reports/Default.aspx Accessed March 2022.

Donate Life America 2021 Registry Overview Report as of February 28, 2022.

About the Author

The inScope content team focuses on bringing you the latest in clinical news from our team of world-class medical providers and physician leaders.

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