SUMMER 2013 VOLUME 4
A PUBLICATION OF NJ SHARING NETWORK
A Mission to Save Lives, One License at a Time THREE HUNDRED TEAMS, THREE HUNDRED STORIES NJ Sharing Network 5K: To Remember. To Honor. To Give Hope.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES Vito Pulito Chair
Bruce I. Goldstein, Esq. Vice Chair
Howard A. Nelson Treasurer
Marc H. Lory Secretary
Patrick M. Buddle, MD Margaret Dreker Bonnie Evans Edward J. Florio, Esq. Michael P. Hedden Aline M. Holmes, RN Anthony L. Marchetta Vijay Rajput, MD Timothy J. Touhey
ADVISORY BOARD Loretta Aigner, RN Transplant Center Administrator Representative
Gail Clegg Organ and Tissue Donor Family Member Representative
Roseann DiBrienza, RN, MS Public Representative
Stuart R. Geﬀner, MD Transplant Surgeon Representative
Michael Gould, MD Emergency Room Personnel Representative
Sarah E. Jensen, Esq. Public Representative
David A. Laskow, MD Transplant Surgeon Representative
James Lim, MD
Recently, Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez visited Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden. His visit had very little to do with motor vehicles. In fact, his message at this regional transplant center was much more important. It was about the need for more New Jerseyans to become registered donors when they obtain or renew their driver’s licenses at a local motor vehicle office. On that day in Camden, Chief Martinez was on a mission. It was April. It was Donate Life Month, and he was determined to visit all 39 MVC offices in the state that month to meet with employees and express gratitude for their efforts to register motorists. At each stop, he stressed the need for additional organ and tissue donors and called for more registrations in the months ahead. Chief Martinez also ensured MVC staff donned blue and green to support National Donate Life Blue and Green Day on April 19. It was a visible way to underscore the need for organ and tissue donation, and to encourage MVC staff to ask motorists to consider checking the box. It was with similar enthusiasm that all seven Barnabas Health facilities simultaneously raised the NJ Sharing Network flag at 10 a.m. on April 12 to pay tribute to organ and tissue donors and to raise awareness of the life-saving and life-restoring value of organ and tissue donation. At each site, dozens of donor families, organ recipients, community leaders and health care professionals gathered with NJ Sharing Network team members in the series of heartfelt ceremonies. Similar programs were held at Hunterdon, Morristown and Palisades Medical Centers. Without our hospital partners, without our donor families and without the commitment of the MVC, we do not exist. We are able to continue our life-saving and life-restoring work because so many people believe in and support our mission. Chief Martinez, in particular, has been a key partner of NJ Sharing Network. His role as an organ and tissue ambassador is saving lives throughout the state. We are pleased and honored to profile him in this issue’s cover story; the efforts of Chief Martinez and his staff should be continually lauded. At Our Lady of Lourdes that day, Chief Martinez reminded everyone that more than 118,000 people nationally are waiting to receive a life-saving organ transplant, including “approximately 5,000 mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters of all ages in New Jersey who are in need of a life-saving organ transplant.” With Chief Martinez we remember and honor donors today, and every day. A life is saved by their heroic decision. “Our work,” Chief Martinez said, “is far from over.”
Transplant Surgeon Representative
Debra L. Morgan, MSW, LCSW Transplant Center Administrator Representative
Shamkant Mulgaonkar, MD Transplant Center Administrator Representative
Trish O’Keefe, RN, MSN Hospital Administrator Representative
Ty J. Olson, MD Neurosurgeon Representative
Joseph S. Roth President and Chief Executive Officer NJ Sharing Network
John S. Radomski, MD Transplant Surgeon Representative
Prakash Rao, PhD, MBA, FACHE, HCLD Human Histocompatibility Specialist Representative
Bruce Stroever Tissue Bank Representative
Harry Sun, MD Transplant Surgeon Representative
Dorian J. Wilson, MD Transplant Surgeon Representative
Mark J. Zucker, MD
Pictured (l-r) holding the flag that was raised at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston on April 12 are: Judge F. Michael Giles, a donor family member and NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board Member, Kathleen Davis, an individual currently awaiting a transplant, Joe Roth, President & CEO, NJ Sharing Network, Shamkant Mulgaonkar, MD, Chief, Barnabas Health Renal and Pancreas Transplant Division, J.D. de Leon, a transplant recipient and NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board Member, Stuart R. Geffner, MD, Surgical Director, Barnabas Health Renal and Pancreas Transplant Division, John F. Bonamo, MD, MS, President and Chief Executive Officer, Saint Barnabas Medical Center, and Livingston Mayor Rudy Fernandez.
Transplant Physician Representative
On the Cover: Patti Walsh, RN, a donor family member and transplant coordinator at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden and Raymond P. Martinez, Chief Administrator, NJ Motor Vehicle Commission.
FOUNDATION BOARD Peter Rooney, Chair Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide Resident of Mendham
I am overwhelmed by the generosity of spirit, time and talent that helped us raise more funds than ever with our 3rd Annual 5K Walk & USATF Certified Race. More than 6,000 participants ran, walked or cheered — an amazing 1,000 more supporters than last year. Our fundraising totals have exceeded $735,000 and continue to climb, a remarkable achievement that is more than 20 percent higher than last year’s total. This success is only made possible by the love and support of those of you who shared your stories, your hugs, your tears and your smiles. A headline on the cover of this issue of Circle of Life magazine says, “300 Teams; 300 Stories.” Teams honored a loved one's generous gift of life; rallied to support someone waiting for a life-saving organ; gave thanks for the gift of life; or remembered someone who died while waiting. Every lovingly made T-shirt told a story.
Marla Bace, Vice Chair Circles, a division of Sodexo Resident of Berkeley Heights
Philip S. Kolm, Treasurer Resident of Fort Lee
Alberta D’Addio, Secretary Resident of Watchung
Donna Albanese-DeMair, Immediate Past Chair Dairy Queen of Plainfield Resident of Scotch Plains
J.D. de Leon Resident of Jersey City
Juanita DiNizo Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Resident of Scotch Plains
Lenore C. Ford Resident of Morristown
Randi Geﬀner Resident of Livingston
Honorable F. Michael Giles
Standing on the grandstand at our New Providence headquarters and looking out at all the teams drove home the theme of our 5K: To Remember … To Honor … To Give Hope. It is because of all your support that we are able to fund programs and educate so many about the life-saving gifts that drive our mission, as well as the overwhelming need that still remains. The funds we raise will go to many projects and I am particularly excited about the opening of the Liberty Science Center exhibit on organ donation and transplantation this summer. Also on the calendar this fall is our Golf and Tennis Classic on October 7 at our new venue, Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield. I am pleased that half of our registrations are already filled! Thank you all, as we work together every day to fulfill our mission to save lives.
Resident of West Orange
Derlys M. Gutierrez, Esq. Adams Stern Gutierrez & Lattiboudere, LLC Resident of Montclair
Thomas Ludlum, Esq. City of Paterson Law Department Ludlum Law Oﬃces Resident of Glen Rock
Lisa Meyers Summit YMCA Resident of Summit
Anthony E. Pizzutillo Smith Pizzutillo LLC Resident of Lawrenceville
Helen Taverna Reagan Resident of Basking Ridge
Suzann Rizzo Investors Bank Resident of Staten Island
Bernard Simon Resident of Edison
Elisse Glennon Executive Director, Foundation NJ Sharing Network
Myles Varley The NJ Sharing Network Foundation welcomes Pam DeLuca as the new assistant director of foundation and constituent relations. Pam will continue to build on the great work of Sandy Erwin who recently retired.
Personal Resource Management Associates, Inc. Resident of Mount Olive Township
Ex-Oﬃcio Members: Joseph S. Roth President and CEO NJ Sharing Network
Barry Newman Chief Financial Oﬃcer NJ Sharing Network
Elisse Glennon Executive Director NJ Sharing Network Foundation
EDITORIAL TEAM Mara Barlow Assistant Director, Marketing and Communications NJ Sharing Network
Lernard Freeman Public Relations Manager NJ Sharing Network
Co-Produced by Jaﬀe Communications & Campbell Health Media 5K Photo Credits: Marlon Aviador Sal Benedetto Jessica Hatton Eneida Rebyak
Teams Stories More than 6,000 people, touched in some way by organ and tissue donation, walked or ran through the streets of New Providence in NJ Sharing Network’s 3rd Annual 5K Walk and USATF Certified Race on Sunday, June 9. Under sunny skies and warm breezes, teams pushed strollers, carried banners and walked or ran to support NJ Sharing Network. The theme of the event was to honor, to remember and to give hope. The event broke records in attendance and in fundraising dollars to support the mission to save and enhance lives through organ and tissue donation.
Kicking off the walk…
Kristen’s Crusaders walked to honor Kristen Theresa O’Hara, who died at the age of 19 and whose organs saved many lives. Mike Strusiak of West Milford received Kristen’s kidney and pancreas. Mike’s four daughters and his granddaughter walked along with Kristen’s parents, Agnes and Ron O’Hara. The O’Hara’s, formerly of Jackson, N.J., traveled from Florida to join the event. Mike said the donation has enabled him to live a normal life after years of serious illness. He was living with diabetes and had lost both kidneys to cancer. “Walking with Kristen’s parents was an emotional experience I will never forget. I truly wanted to celebrate Kristen’s legacy of generosity. She is my angel,” Mike said.
GIVING HOPE to those waiting HONORING Recipients
Devin McQueen, here with Elisse Glennon, executive director of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation, led the team, Devin’s Got Guts. The nine-year-old spent the first year of his life hospitalized because he was born with short gut syndrome. Colleen McQueen was the pediatric intensive care unit nurse who took care of Devin when he was in the hospital. Devin had no family and due to his illness a traditional foster family would not have been able to care for him. Colleen and her husband Derrick, a physician, adopted Devin. The family managed his care until a physician said he would die without a rare intestinal transplant. Devin received the transplant. “Devin has another chance at life because of his transplant and that’s why we are here today. To give thanks,” Colleen said.
LEGACY Lives On
Dorothea Duffy of Lincoln Park felt the support of Team Dorothea as members walked the streets of New Providence. “To know that so many people are behind me gives me strength,” she said. Dorothea went into renal failure in 2010 and remained hospitalized for a month. She emerged from the hospital so sick she needed to learn to walk again and today she requires dialysis three times each week. She began walking in the 5K three years ago to challenge herself and to focus attention on the need for organs. Dorothea is among the more than 5,000 people in New Jersey awaiting a life-saving organ. Friends, family and former co-workers learned of her efforts in the 5K and soon started signing up. “Everybody was so excited and the walk was wonderful. I felt so positive to know so many people are supporting me,” she said.
REMEMBERING Our Donors Three New Providence girls created Miles for Maddie for their friend, Maddie Midwinter, who became an organ donor at the age of 9. The three friends are Madelyn, April and Katie. Maddie had low muscle tone and used a wheelchair, but her friends always made sure she was included in everything. “Maddie had the ability to just make people fall in love with her,” said her mother Tess Midwinter. “Donating her organs is something Maddie would have wanted. My husband and I know we did the right thing.” After Maddie died of a brain aneurysm, her family found a gift box and inside was a note Maddie had written to God that read, “My gift is to share.”
Team Jonathon walked to remember Jonathon Paul Kuzminski, who died in 2011 at 20 months old. Team Jonathon is one of the many 5K teams that brought together both donor families and recipients. Jonathon’s grandmother, Barbara Kuzminski, wanted to honor Jonathon’s memory and recognize his life-saving gift, including the gift of a liver that saved the life of another toddler, Wyatt J. Fleming of Branchburg. Wyatt’s family participated in the 5K event. “The day we met Wyatt confirmed to all of us that it was the right decision to donate Jonathon’s organs and save three other children,” said Barbara. She and Wyatt’s family now work together to improve donor registration rates in Hudson County.
Thank you to our Top Individual Fundraisers and everyone who helped raise over $735,000! Top 10 Fundraisers $5,000+ Kristina Dayback $18,205.00 Alexandra Niles $13,005.00 Suzann Rizzo $11,265.00 Alyssa D’Addio $9,161.97 Valerie Monroe Kloss $7,060.00 Max Prince $6,362.00 Randi Geffner $5,669.00 Chris Camerino $5,645.00 Glenn Van Etten $5,298.00 Jennifer Jova $5,245.00 Mark Feldstein $5,108.00
$2,500 - $4,999 Howard Bernstein Larry Bogush Cindy Boyea Gail Duane Dorothea Duffy Sharon Krampetz Gard Krause Barbara Kuzminski John Longo Tina McCabe Thomas OBrien Nick Paradise Mollie Rubinstein
$1,000 - $2,499 Donna Albanese-DeMair Nicole Alicea Adele Ben’Ary Pat Bongiovi Lisa Brick Jane Buckiewicz Maureen Compton Joanne Corniola Karen Dalton J.D. de Leon Pamela DeLuca Joan Di Meo April Doyle Pamela Drozd Anli Du Kevin Engelke Sue Evans Madelyn Fama Kathy Farrell Corina Fisher Brian Fong Danah Franchino Anisa Gandhi Ezequiel Garcia P.D.K. Gilscalrube Kimberly Githens Christine Gorman Aaron Grossman Derlys Gutierrez Barbara Jemison Christine Kornas Brett Kurland Grisel Lebron-Barbosa Cecile Lovit Jackie Lue Raia Romelle Lysenko
Pam Malfettano Peter Manley Antoinette Mascera Meredith McCluney Kristin M Mingione Sharan Mirchandani Nick Montano Eran Muto-Giles Elisa Navarro Rory O’Brien Ronald Oswick Rita Pascale Gene Pepe Grace Piccini Derek Piccini Paul Pierro Lisa Plona Kathleen Pollock Karen Praschil William Reitsma Jennifer Rizzo Peter Rooney Peter Rudy Avinash Samtani Jennifer Scheer Matthew Schutz Tracey Sharpe Bernard Simon Dennis Sullivan Dana Sutkowski Corinne Szewcyk Jennifer Szewcyk Greg T Tara Thibault George Van Buskirk Carolyn Welsh
$500 - $999 Melanie Amaral Alyson Angstreich Maria Aromando Kim Atno Marla Bace Edith Baker-Jackson Miriam Beauchamp Marlene Bedford Joseph Belfatto Mike Bialko Stephen Bond-Nelson Donna Brazina Vikki Britton Joseph Brown Ann Buro Kimberly Cassidy Karen Celleri Joshua Cohen William Compton Diane Coopersmith Gerard Crosbie Michele Dabal Jamie D’Angelo Rodger Davenport Jessica Davis Leah De La Cuadra Pamela Deliso Erin DeVivo Patti DiSanto
Stacy Donenfeld-Lisanti Helene Dujardin Kristin Engelke Janet Engelke Mark Felix Lenore Ford Lisa Frazee Robert Michael Freeman Chrissy Fugger Lindsay Ganter Amy Gillmor Elisse Glennon Edward Gold Megan Grace Colleen Hanretty Kurt Heinrich Karen Hernandez Michael Hoer Mary Pat Januszanis Brigitte John Margueritte Jones Lia Jova Rajesh Karnani Anne Kudlac Sue Kwiatek David Laible Charles Laible Kristen Lalama Roy Larsen Molly Lenz Sharon Lovit Sandra Lue Donna Malkowski Katie McCluney Lisa Meyers Sam Midwinter Maritess Midwinter Nancy Midwinter Lucinda Monica Kimberly Moore Sue Negrin Marley Nicolas Michael Ochotorena Ron O’Neil Adena Osband Erika Palumbo Joseph Parrillo Charles Pascale E. Denise Peoples Maria Perez Roy Praschil Taylor Praschil Helen Taverna Reagan Becky Rose Emma Rothman Rachel Rothspan Rita Ryan Sharon Salerno Susan Salmond Alida Sandoval Charles Scorsone Jessica Sedlak Jamie Siegrist Cristina Simeone Peggy Simurra Susan Sing Rich Spengler
Amanda Stamler Mary Stewart Steven Sutkowski Leon Szewcyk Joan Thiel Dionne Trainor Stephen Tucciarone Donna Uher-Imperatore Rob Van Etten Kerry Ventura Susan Vonk Adriene Zepka
$250 - $499 Brian Allain Danielle Allain Cindy Amante Michael Amato Lucia Aurello Sangeeta Badlani Mara Barlow Karah Barroqueiro John Bautz Lynn Beattie Michael Benedetto Celestina Berlin Kristen Bessinger Stephanie Biondo Nancy Bird David Bird Lawrence Bologna Dominick Bongiovi Marjorie Brissett Mary Browne Amy Buckiewicz Valerie Budka Chriselle Buendia Kimberly Bustamante Michael Byrne Janice Campbell Chris Carey Joe Caruso Mary Cataudella Bob Chavez Danielle Ciulla Scott Clelland Rebecca Cohen Marc Coopersmith Marion Crawford Gerard Crosbie Maureen Crosbie Catherine Crosbie Laura Crosbie Danielle D’Andrea Catherine DeAppolonio Mike (Dino) DeNardo Fatima Dennis Beatriz Diaz Lucia DiNapoli Juanita DiNizo
Marilyn Dipkin Joe DiSanto Jill Doherty Kate Donenfeld Erin Edwards Geraldine Entrup Maria Feeney Mary Louise Fessel Diane Finckenauer Patricia Flavin Dave Galonska Jeannette Galonska George Ganter Bill Gavin Teresa Gavin Jen Geiger Staci Gelb Karen Gilbert Gary Gilbert Bonnie Gildea Debbie Gilliland Ryan Goldberg Tara Goldsmith Renee Goldsmith Hal Grossman Patti Guerino Roseanne Hahn Terence Hales Mary Halliwell Caroline Hann Suzanne Healey Regina Heater George Hillier Tracey Hoer Laureen Howell John Hughes Connie Hulbert Tom Hunt Jeannine Irons Nicole Jacobs Jenna Johnson Emily-Jo Klein Philip Kolm Kathleen Kornas Cessy Kurland Carole Laible Scott Littlejohn Karen Malagrino Philip Mangini Lisa Manning Denise Marks William Mayer Cindy Mazzatta Michael McCabe Diana Mcgroarty Suzanne McPherson Colleen McQueen Steve Meyers Drew Midwinter John Midwinter Dan Midwinter
Lisa Midwinter Cornelia Minkema Nelson Miranda Frank Mirigliano Bruno Molino Carolyn Moyle David Murawski Angela Nardone-Pfistner Farrah Negrin Daniel Nelson Julie Nelson Cathy Ochse Ronald O’Hara Agnes O’Hara Sara Oliveira Deanna Pecora Nancy Peet Dominick Piccini Jean Pierson Allison Pini Anthony Pizzutillo Albert Prentice Sam Prince Kevin Quinn Mark Rabe Nehal Ramchandani Scott Regan Mark Romero Ines Rosa Lisa Rose Joseph Roth Erin Salmond Murphy Samson Marc Santucci Janet Saulter-Hemmer Eileen Schwalb Joseph Scott Theresa Semple Emily Serna Mozhgan Setoodeh Allison Shaughnessy Jennifer Sheppard Passion Smith Elizabeth Souren Frances Stager Elizabeth Stamler Andrew Stewart Cheryl Sullivan Christine Tenore Thomas Trezza Lauren Turci Mark Van Etten George Van Buskirk Ana Vecchione Lisa Veit Kenneth Ward Maryellen Wiggins Rosa Williams Kelly Young Marvy Zeno
Thank you to our 2013 Sponsors Hosted by
Pictured l-r: Peter Rooney, Chair of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation; Donna Albanese-DeMair, Chair of the 5K and Immediate Past Chair of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation; Frank D’Amelio, Chief Financial Officer of Pfizer, the event’s presenting sponsor.
2013 Top Teams Gold Level
Top 10 Teams - $8,500+ Team Courtney Miles for Maddie Biff’s Gifts Betsy’s Dash In the Spirit of Anthony Rizzo Just Do It in Celebration of Joe D’Addio Team Andrew Papa Tony’s Team Max’s Mitzvah Movers Jellybean’s Rainbow
$1,000 - $2,499 $20,170.00 $19,030.20 $15,147.00 $15,030.00 $14,800.00 $12,601.97 $10,290.00 $9,510.00 $8,965.00 $8,598.55
$5,000 - $8,499 A-Team Brandon’s Angels Brighton Cromwell & Team Loving Hearts DaVita Stars JCMC Walks 4 Life NJ Sharing Network One Love for Brian Bernstein Second Chance Team Buck Team Dorothea Team Evan Team Geffner Team Kevin Gilbert Team Martial Arts for Life Team Shaun OB Val’s Pals Wiss Nation
$2,500 - $4,999
5K Steering Committee Donna Albanese-DeMair, Chair Joaquin Arisso, Jr. Mara Barlow Diane Bernstein Cindy Boyea Amy Buckiewicz Joseph Caivano Alyssa D’Addio Kristina Dayback Pamela DeLuca Sandy Erwin
Lindsay Ganter Randi Geffner Elisse Glennon Jan Hines Jennifer Jova Helen LaCarrubba Beth Laible Roy Larsen Tom Ludlum, Esq. Jacqueline Lue Raia
Steven Monteleone Alexandra Niles Lisa Plona Suzann Rizzo Alida Sandoval Dan Sarnowski Jamie Siegrist Eric Tibok
Refreshment Contributors Village Supermarkets Bernards Café Schripps European Bread A&P Galileo Pizzeria
Herrs Providence Liquors, Inc. Walgreens Peerless Beverage M&M Liquors
Dahams Bagels Avenue Deli Apple Spice Junction Prestige Diner Coppolas
“I AM DROZD!” Against All ODDS Artie’s Partie ASG&L BeFit@SBMC Hearts for Emma HQSI It’s Johnny Time JP Morgan Chase Sharing Friends Kristen’s Crusaders Linda’s Home Team MacDonald Plumbing MTF Ogilvy CommonHealth Our Sweet Angel from Heaven Po-Po’s Peeps Pop-Pop’s Team Remembering Robin Rey Rey RWJ Saint Clares Walk for Emma’s Heart Shine on Sean Team 360 Team Dave - Always in our Hearts Team David Team DQ Team Eric Team FCC Team Jerry TEAM JONATHON Team Leon TEAM LIBERTY Team MARYANN Team One Love Team Romeo Delta Force Team Ryan Team SCK Team Stevie B Team Will Ganter Thanks to Donnie!!! Walk for Heather Walking for Weezie
3 Musketeers A&A Benefits Ant’s Angels AOK Be Like Keith – Share-Give-Love Bru Crew Cele’s Crew Chubi Hearts Community Medical Center Dana’s Liver Lizards Devin’s Got Guts Document Solutions EDP Breathin’ Ezy Forever Young/Team Matt Fran’s McRingo Allstars Greg T Z100 Team How We Lookin Greg Pollock Hunterdon Heart Throbs Karen’s Support Team KT ACK Lackawaxen’s for Life LEBRON-MATEO Life Savers Love Life Maria Di Meo Miles for Erin and Joey Nick’s Crew NOVARTIS TEAM Pioneers for EB Querido Corazon Rhat Pack Rich Grossman Robert Cameron Plona-RCP Rob’s Team Spider Liver STOP For Nikhil Team Butterfly Team Castro Team Choudhry Team D Phi E in Honor of Alice Kramer Team De Leon Team Eastwick Education Team Elliot Team Flemington Team Gene Team Infineum Team Jamie Team Kathy Team Kidney Bean Team Kimmi Team Korn Pini Team Kurland Team Maitri Team Megan Team New Heart 93 Team Scott Team Share Your Spare Team Summit Team Susie Team Tin Man Team Tori Team Union County PBA The Valley Life Savers
Chief Martinez traveled more than 1,000 miles to visit 39 Motor Vehicle
Agencies during Donate Life Month.
Raymond P. Martinez
The Mission to Save Lives, One License at a Time
New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission is the gateway for tens of thousands of drivers to make the decision to save lives by simply checking a box or having a brief exchange with an MVC clerk. The enormity of the mission is not lost on Raymond P. Martinez, the chair and chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. He is passionate about his role as leader of an organization that drives so many individuals each year to say “yes” to being registered as an organ and tissue donor. Because of his initiatives, and the staff members who educate the public about the importance of organ and tissue donation, Circle of Life magazine wanted to learn more about the man and the mission. Chief Martinez has served as the head of the MVC since Feb. 1, 2010. It is an amazing responsibility; the Middletown resident oversees the operations of 2,300 employees in 39 MVC offices around the state. The MVC is empowered as a key source of new organ donor registration, following the enactment of the Hero Act on July 22, 2008. Many don’t know New Jersey was the first state to advocate that its residents have the fundamental responsibility to choose whether to help save another person’s life. The state’s proactive policy toward organ and tissue donation has moved from a position of general support to a position of strong advocacy. The Act states New Jersey residents have the right to register as organ and tissue donors upon licensure and renewal of their driver’s licenses,
and issuance of state identification cards. Circle of Life magazine recently spoke with Chief Martinez about his agency’s commitment to organ and tissue donation, as well as the ongoing initiative to encourage motorists to check the box. Circle of Life (COL): Please tell our readers about how the MVC is involved in donor registry. Raymond P. Martinez (RM): We consider ourselves to be the face of state government. We have upfront contact with every sector of the public through our web portal, phone lines and in-person through our offices across New Jersey. We have 25 million customer contacts each year. You want every one of those contacts to go as well as possible, while promoting a great public policy such as organ and tissue donation. COL: What is the MVC’s role in registering motorists to become organ and tissue donors? RM: Through the Hero Act, we ask the customers if they want to be donors. We ask if they feel comfortable making that decision, or if we should direct them elsewhere for more information. We forward people to NJ Sharing Network’s website or to the information we have on our own website. COL: You introduced a new initiative during Donate Life Month in April to help educate your employees about the critical importance of organ and tissue donation. You traveled 1,000 miles to visit 39 agencies. What took place? RM: I wish I could say every memo I send out to employees is read with great detail. This
year, during Donate Life Month, I wanted to take it a step further, talking face-to-face with as many individual employees as I could to emphasize why organ and tissue donation is so important. In April, I went to every office and spoke with those clerks who interact with our customers. It was a really great learning experience. I went into break rooms, in most cases with an organ or tissue recipient, in some cases with a donor family member. I wanted to really bring it home to my employees about the role they play in registering donors. I want the employees to feel comfortable answering questions about organ and tissue donation from customers, as they decide if they will register.
Chief Martinez took Bergen County by storm. He thanked each and every employee for the critically important role they play in asking 100 percent of their customers to check “YES” to organ donation. First stop: Lodi. Pictured left to right: MVC Manager Judith Fisher, NJ Sharing Network Volunteer Lissa Roy, Chief Administrator Martinez and MVC Regional Manager Paul Wolleon.
Chief Martinez’s second stop in Bergen County: Wallington. Pictured left to right: Chief Administrator Martinez, MVC Manager Angelina “Chickee” Toscano and heart recipient and NJ Sharing Network Volunteer Educator Russ Jackson.
COL: What was the response you received from your employees? RM: I found that in a population of 2,300 employees, someone in almost every office had a relative who was a donor or a recipient. I found very strong support in our department for this program; it is truly heartening. Our clerks have a tough job. They are working with customers who do not want to be there. An MVC agency is not like a state park; the people coming in are sometimes ready to do battle. I always want the customer experience to be a good one, but I know the clerk job is not easy. I wanted to personally thank the clerks for
making sure they asked the organ and tissue donation question to every customer. They don’t get thanked for a lot of things while working at a motor vehicle agency, so it was important for the head of the organization to shake their hands and let them know they are playing an important role in helping to save people’s lives. COL: What a powerful message: Telling your employees they are helping to save lives by just remembering to ask the question. How did they react? RM: Well, most clerks never thought about it in that context before. They are so busy with licenses, registrations and renewals. But registering people for organ and tissue donation is also a key component of the MVC role. I say to the employees, “Think about this: when someone says ‘yes’ to you, you are playing a role in saving multiple people’s lives.” Yeah, that is pretty neat. MVC employees told me they are able to have this job today because they had a cornea transplant or are alive because they had a kidney transplant. They’ve told me how being a recipient has drastically improved the quality of their lives, or how they are family members of a donor. One of our staff in Salem County even showed me a scrapbook of all the people who have benefitted from organ donation by her
deceased husband. COL: What impact has MVC made in increasing the number of donor registrations? RM: For me, it is a no-brainer to use motor vehicles to help move the donor registry numbers in a positive direction; the MVC is the largest source for people to register for organ and tissue donation. Because we are so incorporated into the process, the numbers are getting better every year, but we still have more than 5,000 people on the waiting list throughout the state. In 2012, we had a spike in registrations statewide. Some of our offices in highly populated ethnically diverse areas, such as Newark, Lodi and Bayonne, saw particularly strong registration increases. I want my employees to know we are moving the numbers in the right direction. In some cases, we have had employees who are organ or tissue recipients. I think it is moving when they tell that story to a customer. We are able to make a difference in people’s understanding and perception of the impact of donation. At the end of the day, our employees are the frontline ambassadors for organ and tissue donation in New Jersey.
MVC Chief Administrator Visits Camden Hospital to Spotlight Organ and Tissue Donation Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez joined with other dignitaries on April 18 to visit the Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden to stress the need for additional organ and tissue donors and call for more registrations in the months ahead. “I encourage everyone to learn more about organ and tissue donation and to sign up to be an organ donor,” said state Commissioner of Health Mary E. O’Dowd. “If you are already registered, encourage friends, family and co-workers to consider it.” The MVC, which accounts for nearly all donor registrations in New Jersey, visited the
Camden hospital during Donate Life Month to raise awareness and boost the donor rolls.
have received the gift of life at Lourdes’ Regional Center for Organ Transplantation.
Patti Walsh, RN, a transplant coordinator at Lourdes, as well as a member of a donor family, spoke at the progam. Fourteen years ago, Patti and her family made the decision to donate her 47 year-old sister, Barbara Reilly’s organ after she died of a cerebral aneurysm.
“Not only does organ donation provide a second chance at life for recipients, but it allows donor families a sense of closure and purpose,” said Alexander J. Hatala, president and CEO of Lourdes Health System. “We remember and honor donors today, and every day a life is saved by their heroic decision.”
“I’m fortunate to care for kidney and pancreas transplant recipients,” Walsh said. “The decision we made as a family is reaffirmed for me everyday by the job I do here.” New Jersey is served by six transplant centers, including Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden. More than 1,000 patients
To become an organ and tissue donor in New Jersey, add your name to the donor registry during a driver’s license or ID transaction, or register online at www.NJSharingNetwork.org.
More Than 100 Attend Volunteer Conference “You are all a great multiplier of our work.”
Joe Roth, president & CEO of NJ Sharing Network, used those words to welcome more than 100 volunteers who attended the 1st Annual Volunteer Conference in April. Volunteers learned about the legal and medical aspects of organ donation, as well as public policy. “You understand our core values as stewards of the gift of organ and tissue,” Joe told those gathered at NJ Sharing Network headquarters in New Providence. “You are dedicated, eager, compassionate and resourceful. We would not be nearly as successful if not for the work you all do in support of our mission.” The full day of educational sessions focused on topics such as the definition of brain death, speaking with the media, writing to your donor family/transplant recipients and other issues involving organ donation and transplantation. Elisse Glennon, executive director of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation, credited volunteers for increases in the percentage of New Jersey drivers who checked “yes” to organ donation when obtaining or renewing a driver’s license. “There is still much work to be done, but we have much to be grateful for,” Elisse said. “I believe we will continue to increase our donor registry and that is thanks to all of you.”
Pictured l-r: Juanita DiNizo, a member of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board; Jackie Lue Raia, assistant director of resource development at NJ Sharing Network; Tracy Boatwright, a Donate Life Ambassador; and his daughter, Aliyah, a heart transplant recipient.
Pictured l-r: Wilma Johnson, wife of a multiple organ recipient, and Cheryl Taylor, whose sister passed away while waiting for a kidney.
Pictured l-r: Dr. Rebecca White-Johnson, kidney recipient; Ms. Pumps; and Shirley Brown, heart recipient. Dr. Johnson and Ms. Brown are sorority sisters.
Cathie Ruiterman attended the volunteer conference to get more involved. Several of her friends have received life-saving transplants.
Pictured with Ms. Pumps is Rich Perry, who attended the volunteer conference.
NJ Sharing Network recognized the start of Donate Life Month in April – a time to honor the generosity of organ, eye and tissue donors and to support their families – by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. NJ Sharing Network officials were joined by Foundation board members, donor families, transplant recipients and volunteers.
NJ Sharing Network staff members spent the last day of Donate Life Month with representatives of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, 5K Platinum Sponsors. Pictured l-r: Chair of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation Peter Rooney, Transplant Education Manager Barbara Turci, Resource Development Coordinator Alyssa D’Addio, NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board Secretary Alberta D’Addio and Assistant Director of Resource Development Jackie Lue Raia. Not pictured: NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board Member Suzann Rizzo.
A NJ Sharing Network flag was raised at Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center in Livingston as well as all Barnabas Health campuses in celebration of Donate Life Month. Pictured l-r: Livingston Deputy Mayor Michael Reiber, MD; liver recipient and NJ Sharing Network volunteer Michele Dabal; NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board Member Lenore Ford; donor mom and NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board Member Suzann Rizzo; President and CEO, Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center Susan Garrubbo; and NJ Sharing Network CFO and VP of Finance Barry Newman.
Many thanks to our new partners at the Sanford-Brown Institute in Iselin for inviting NJ Sharing Network to speak to their allied health students during Family Wellness Week.
NJ Sharing Network volunteers were featured on WABC-TVs award-winning public affairs show, “Here & Now.” The group talked about the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation and transplantation, the mission of NJ Sharing Network and its personal connection to organ donation and transplantation. Pictured (l-r) on the show’s set are: E. Denise Peoples, a double-lung transplant recipient and 5K team captain; Sandra Bookman, the host of “Here & Now;” Dr. Dorian Wilson, a liver transplant surgeon at University Hospital in Newark and member of NJ Sharing Network’s Advisory Board; and Judge F. Michael Giles, a member of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board and donor family member.
A NJ Sharing Network flag was raised at Morristown Medical Center during Donate Life Month to promote awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation.
Mayors Take the Cake Blue & Green Day Supporters of organ donation and transplantation donned special colors on National Blue & Green Day, April 19. They wore green shirts and blue hats and green wristbands and blue jewelry — and a multitude of other combinations. Many posted photographs of their hued wardrobe on NJ Sharing Network’s Facebook page. The day was to raise awareness of the need for life-saving organs and to encourage more people to register to be organ donors.
Mayor Colleen Mahr from Fanwood and Mayor Kevin Glover of Scotch Plains show their support for organ and tissue donation and transplantation. The mayors are pictured with Donna Albanese-DeMair, owner of the Plainfield Dairy Queen and NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board member.
Pictured l-r: Berkeley Heights Mayor Joseph Bruno, Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley, North Plainfield Councilman Skip Stabile, Plainfield Mayor Sharon RobinsonBriggs, Edison Mayor Antonia Ricigliano, Roselle Park Mayor Joe Accardi and Cranford Mayor Tom Hannen.
Congratulations to the winners of this year’s NJ Sharing Network Blue & Green Day photo contest. (Top to bottom) First place: Brookdale Community College, second place: D’Addio/Sumas Family Vacation, third place: Nottingham Insurance.
NJ Sharing Network volunteers Mark and Terry Meade showing their support for National Donate Life Blue and Green Day. Met Life Tower at Grand Central in New York lights up for Donate Life Blue and Green Day.
Public health and school nurses of Essex County celebrating National Donate Life Month.
Ocean Medical Center nurses and administrators showing support for Donate Life Blue and Green Day.
To see more pictures from our events, please visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org.
Honoring Legacies Landscape of Life Close to 200 people came together to add 87 new names to the “Landscape of Life.” The May 9 event was a special evening to unveil the names in whose honor or memory contributions were made to NJ Sharing Network. Landscape of Life was created to honor organ and tissue donors, transplant recipients and those who continue to wait for the gift of life. The tribute wall acknowledges contributions made in their honor or memory. The Landscape of Life depicts life through a window overlooking a swaying tree in bloom surrounded by butterflies in flight. A loved one’s name will appear on the wall when
contributions reach the following levels: $1,000 or greater and the name will appear on the left side of the Landscape of Life, $5,000 or greater and the name will appear on a leaf, and $10,000 or greater and the name will appear on a butterfly. “The contributions made to our Foundation will continue saving lives for years to come,” said Elisse Glennon, executive director of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation. “What a legacy. What a great way for us to express our gratitude for your generosity. Thank you to all of our Landscape of Life honorees for supporting the life-saving mission of NJ Sharing Network.”
Pictured on the cover of April’s Meadowlands USA magazine are: (top) Joseph S. Roth, president & CEO, NJ Sharing Network; Elisse Glennon, executive director, NJ Sharing Network Foundation; Kevin Cummings, president and CEO, Investors Bank. (bottom): Domenick Cama, CEO and senior executive vice president, Investors Bank; Suzann Rizzo, assistant vice president and branch manager, Investors Bank. The cover article describes the value of organ donation through the story of Anthony Rizzo and his family’s eﬀorts to honor his legacy of generosity through their support of NJ Sharing Network. The family’s support is backed by Investors Bank, where Anthony’s mother, Suzann Rizzo, works. Her colleagues generously support NJ Sharing Network’s 5K Walk and USATF Certified Race in memory of Anthony, who died in a tragic accident at the age of 16. Investors Bank then matched the amount collected, creating a record-breaking team eﬀort of more than $24,000. The article quoted Investors Bank Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operative Oﬃcer Domenick Cama, who said: “Investors Bank has a deep responsibility and commitment to its employees and the communities we serve. We strive to make a diﬀerence in people’s lives and felt compelled to support Suzann.” Suzann Rizzo says she draws comfort from knowing her son provided the gift of life to five people and the gift of sight to two. “Anthony’s legacy lives on. He is a hero to me, my family, and now to other people as well,” she said.
Members of the Hulbert family attended the ceremony to remember their loved one, Lisa Hulbert, a recipient from Pompton Plains, NJ. Pictured l-r: Margaret Franco, Michael McCabe, Tina McCabe, Connie McCabe, holding Aiden McCabe, Joe Hulbert, Maddie McCabe and Luke McCabe.
Team Liberty Joe DiSanto, a heart recipient, and Michael Strusiak, who received a kidney and pancreas, will show their strength and athleticism at the 2014 Transplant Games when they compete as part of Team Liberty. Team Liberty, a program of the NJ Sharing Team Liberty members l-r: Joseph DiSanto, heart recipient; Network Foundation, Patti DiSanto, mother of heart recipient; Victor DiSanto, father of heart recipient; Ms. Pumps; Michele Dabal, liver supports athletes who recipient; Mike Strusiak, kidney/pancreas recipient; and compete in the Olympic- Bonnie Farbstein, liver recipient. style games, which will be held next year in Houston, Texas. Anyone who has received an organ or tissue transplant is eligible to compete. Living donors also are eligible to compete. Donor families will be recognized at the four-day event. More than 45 teams will compete in 12 sports, including badminton, swimming, cycling, golf and table tennis. The event allows organ recipients to show others that organ donation truly is the gift of life. The games also give recipients an opportunity to honor their donors and spread awareness about the need for life-saving organs. More information is available at GoTeamLiberty.org.
Quilt Unveiling Event Two new Quilts of Love honoring donors have been unveiled to bring the new total to 29 beautiful quilts. Each quilt was made with love and serves as a gentle reminder of the many lives touched by donation and transplantation. Every square on the quilt tells the story of a donor whose generosity has given life to others. The beautiful quilts include photographs, as well as college logos and sports insignias, and symbols of favorite hobbies. Some have words, such as Always In Our Hearts. The quilts began in 1997, and since then have been admired by thousands of people who have seen them at schools, hospitals, museums and other places throughout New Jersey. These tributes to donors touch people’s hearts and also spread awareness of the life-saving value of organ and tissue donation. To learn more, please contact Donor Family Services at (908) 5165400 or FamilyAfterCare@ njsharingnetwork.org.
Help NJ Sharing Network spread the word about the importance of organ & tissue donation on your Facebook page! 1. Go to your “Wall” and add a “Life Event” Pictured (in middle) is Iris Garcia with her husband, Ezequiel, and sister, Emilia Carrion, at the quilt unveiling ceremony.
2. Go to the “Health and Wellness” section 3. Add “Organ Donation” to your information
Donate Life Around the World
Featured in an installment of Donate Life Around the World is Marla Bace, Foundation Vice Chair, posing in front of the Eiffel Tower. Merci Beaucoup!
The DeVivo family carried the life-saving message of organ and tissue donation and transplantation to Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. The picture was taken in honor of Victoria Paige DeVivo, whose gift of organ donation saved three lives.
Rodger Davenport brought the Donate Life message to baseball’s iconic Wrigley Field.
This “Donate Life Around the World" features team captain and heart recipient, Emma Rothman. Emma and friends pose at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Danny and Amanda Kern tied the knot at the Madison Hotel in Morris Township and posed for pictures with a NJ Sharing Network banner to honor Danny's brother, Brian, who passed away three years ago. Close to 200 wedding guests also wore Donate Life pins at the reception as a tribute to Brian.
NONPROFIT ORG U.S. Postage
PAID Union, NJ
691 Central Avenue New Providence, NJ 07974 1-800-742-7365 • 908-516-5400
Permit No. 931
NJ Sharing Network is a member of Community Health Charities of NJ
WHO WE ARE NJ Sharing Network is a non-profit, federally designated organ procurement organization responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue for the nearly 5,000 New Jersey residents currently awaiting transplantation, and is part of the national recovery system, which is in place for the nearly 120,000 people on waiting lists. If you no longer wish to receive information from NJ Sharing Network, please call 908-516-5400.
All in a Day’s Work By Jay Arisso, Jr., Manager, Family Services
I wish I could tell you about a typical day, but truthfully, I have no typical days. Each day brings new challenges in my position to support donor families — some in the midst of crisis and others who need solace and comfort years after the death of a loved one. I work as manager of family support services. I oversee our aftercare program and lead a team of family support coordinators. I also work directly with families. One day I may be at a hospital, at the side of a wife whose husband just died of a brain hemorrhage, helping her explain organ donation to her in-laws in an out-of-
country phone call. Another day I may be comforting a mother on the anniversary of her child’s death, or helping an organ transplant recipient craft a letter to his donor family. Our support team, along with our transplant coordinators, helps families understand brain death and organ donation. I am always sensitive to using language the family will understand. I must be respectful of whatever they are feeling: anger, shock, sadness or fear. As an ordained, non-denominational minister, I see my work as a calling more than a job. Sometimes my team and I coordinate meetings between recipients and donor families. I recall a mom who put her face near the scar of a young woman who had received her daughter’s liver. The mother turned to
the recipient and said, “You are my daughter now.” I can tell you the story of every family I have ever worked with and no two stories will ever be the same. Our team also creates faith-based programs to explain the importance and power of donation to members of the faith-based community. Each year, we host an event for National Donor Sabbath. In my workspace you will see one of the handmade shawls, crafted by volunteers, that show our families that they are wrapped in love during their time of grief. On the wall are photographs of families I know especially well. The photographs remind me that we often enter people’s lives in their darkest moments. However, knowing that their loved one was able to save the lives of others can provide a ray of light and hope.
SAVE THE DATE
Join the conversation about the power of donation! Like us at facebook.com/njsharingnetwork
October 7, 2013
November 8-10, 2013
Follow us on twitter @ njsharing
Golf & Tennis Classic
National Donor Sabbath
Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield • Centercourt, Chatham For information call Jackie Lue Raia at 908-516-5686
For more information on faith-based outreach, contact Jay Arisso, Jr. at 908-516-5615
NJ Sharing Network is now on Instagram! Follow us @NJSharingNetwork for daily pictures and updates!
A mission to save lives -- one license at a time A publication of NJ Sharing Network