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UPMC Honors Organ Donors with Dedicated Roses on 2014 Rose Bowl Float

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 5, 2013 – A little piece of UPMC will be represented at the Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif., on New Year’s Day. Rose vials with notes signed by UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside President John Innocenti, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC President Christopher A. Gessner and other hospital presidents in the UPMC network will be used to hold flowers on the Donate Life Float.
Sponsored by Donate Life America, the float is intended to educate people about organ donation and the more than 120,000 Americans awaiting a transplant, as well as to honor those donors who have given the gift of life. The vials signed by the UPMC executives will be among thousands that make up the float’s Donate Life Dedication Garden
“Millions of people across the country will see the Donate Life Float during the Rose Parade, and it’s a perfect way to honor organ donors and their families. We are honored and proud to be a part of this special day,” Mr. Innocenti said.
UPMC’s transplant programs are among the world’s largest and are internationally renowned for their influence on the field of transplantation. For nearly 30 years, UPMC has been providing care to adult and pediatric transplant patients through services at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, the UPMC Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Children’s Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation. Today, UPMC has performed more than 17,000 transplants, including heart, lung, intestinal, kidney, liver, pancreas and multiple-organ transplants, along with heart assist device implantation. Children's Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation has performed more pediatric transplants than any other pediatric transplant center in the country while achieving patient survival rates that are among the highest in the world.
“Participating in the parade is one small way we can thank donors and their families for their generosity,” Mr. Gessner said. “We see firsthand everyday how organ donations change lives.”
The theme of the 2014 Donate Life Float is “Light Up the World.” Thirty transplant recipients will ride on the float, along with 81 memorial portraits made of flowers that honor deceased organ, eye and tissue donors. Several living kidney transplant donors will walk alongside the float during the parade, a New Year’s Day tradition leading up to college football’s Rose Bowl.
John Innocenti, UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside President​
From left to right: Cynthia Valenta, R.N., M.S.N., Clinical Director, Critical Care Services, Chris Gessner, President, Steven G. Docimo, M.D., Chief Medical Officer

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