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Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, President & CEO, contributes a regular column to The Freeman's Journal, Hometown Oneonta, and AllOtsego.com. The piece below was published in April 20, 2023 editions.

Dear Friends, Neighbors, and Colleagues,

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Last April, Bassett Healthcare Network became a registry partner with the New York State Donate Life Registry. In the year since, 590 people have joined the registry through Bassett's site. This amounts to 30% of the enrollments collected through all of Donate Life's partners statewide. People who have registered with the Donate Life Registry have made the decision to be an organ, eye, or tissue donor and help save lives. 

That is remarkable! I am proud to be part of a community with such a generous spirit. I am so glad that Bassett has been able to make it easier for that spirit to shine. 

There are few moments in life harder than receiving a serious diagnosis—especially for a chronic, degenerative, or terminal condition. It is news that can divide life into before and after, with many aspects of after defined by struggle.

An organ transplant can be a similar turning point in a person's life. Unlike the diagnosis, this turning point offers hope for more time and an improved quality of life.

Although vital organ donation is what first comes to mind when many of us think of Donate Life, the potential is greater than that. Other tissues can offer people a fuller recovery from other types of illnesses or accidents, such as grafting skin or restoring sight with an eye donation. Altogether, a single donor has the potential of saving or improving the lives of up to 75 people.  

Organs only remain viable for a short period of time, and decisions often need to be made quickly at a very difficult time. The Donate Life registry allows donors to officially record their wishes in advance and in detail, specifying which organs they wish to donate and how they may be used. The specific instructions, as opposed to simply marking "yes" or "no" on a driver's license, gives loved ones peace of mind that they are following your wishes.

The registry also securely connects donors with recipients. A donor's preferences are stored in an independent database, creating an ethical barrier between medical caregivers serving a donor and those who will aid a recipient. That information is available nationwide to a network of state registries allowing for quick access when the information is needed.

When every second counts, Donate Life's registry makes all the difference. Bassett is proud to be a partner in this life-enhancing and life-saving work. Please consider visiting www.donatelife.ny.gov to register today to save lives or learn more.

Dr. Tommy Ibrahim
President & CEO
Bassett Healthcare Network

You can read the post on All Otsego here.