Gift of Life donor program breaks national records in saving lives

Coordinated 705 organ donors, leading to 1,732 life-saving transplants

Gift of Life Donor Program once again led the nation among all 57 U.S. federally designated organ procurement organizations in saving lives.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, the Gift of Life Donor Program serves the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. Gift of Life’s annual donation rate, 62 organ donors-per-million-population, is among the highest in the world. Specifically in South Jersey, the nonprofit serves Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.

2021 represented the highest number of organ donors ever recorded for a U.S.-based program, and the 14th year in a row in which GLDP led the nation. All of it happened despite the challenges the medical community has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thanks to the nation’s most generous community, dedicated staff who work around the clock for each person on the organ waitlist and hospital partners committed to saving every life possible, in 2021 Gift of Life led the nation in:

  • Most organ donors — coordinated life-saving gifts from 705 organ donors, the most ever in the U.S.
  • Most organs transplanted — those donations resulted in 1,732 transplants, the most in the U.S. in 2021.
  • Most kidneys transplanted — coordinated 1,007 kidney transplants, the most ever in U.S. history.

“I am humbled and inspired by Gift of Life’s community, which year after year is the most generous in the nation for donation. It takes a team of heroes — donors, donor families, Gift of Life staff and hospital partners — to save the lives of people on the organ waitlist. Without each one of them, organ donation would not be possible,” said Richard Hasz, CEO and president of Gift of Life Donor Program, Gift of Life Family House and Transplant Foundation.

In 2021, Gift of Life also recovered life-enhancing tissue from 2,399 donors, including 1,348 musculoskeletal donors and 1,894 cornea donors. These donations can benefit more than 110,000 people, with bone donations for orthopedic and sports injuries, skin donations to heal burn patients and for reconstructive surgery, heart valve donations to repair life-threatening defects and corneas to provide the gift of sight.

Gift of Life’s Clinical Services division is now led by Christine Radolovic, a 20-year veteran of Gift of Life who was recently promoted to the role of chief clinical officer from director of the organization’s more than 65 transplant coordinators. A former ICU nurse, Radolovic understands firsthand the critical partnership between Gift of Life and its network of 129 acute care hospitals and 14 transplant centers.