Gift of Life Donor Program Breaks Two U.S. Records in 2019: Organ Donors and Life-saving Transplants

For the 12th consecutive year, Gift of Life Donor Program is the nation’s leading organ procurement organization (OPO), coordinating the most life-saving organs for transplant among all 58 U.S. OPOs.  

Gift of Life broke two national records in 2019, representing the highest totals ever recorded for organ donors and transplants for a U.S.-based OPO in a single year. The Gift of Life region led the nation in:

  • Organ donors – coordinated life-saving gifts from 664 organ donors
  • Organs transplanted – donations resulted in 1,865 organs transplanted

Gift of Life’s annual donation rate, 59 organ donors-per-million-population, and annual transplant rate, 167 transplants-per-million population, both rank among the highest in the world. 

“Every day, our dedicated staff works around the clock to do everything they can to save the lives of the more than 5,000 men, women and children in our region waiting for a life-saving organ,” said Gift of Life President and CEO Howard M. Nathan. “They are supported by the most generous community in the country and the nation’s foremost hospitals and transplant centers. Together, we have created an international model of compassionate care, clinical excellence and community partnership.” 

In 2019, Gift of Life also recovered tissue from 2,677 donors, including 1,305 musculoskeletal donors and 2,234 cornea donors. These life-enhancing donations can benefit more than 100,000 people, with bone donations for orthopedic and sports injuries, heart valve donations to repair life-threatening defects, skin donations for reconstructive surgery and to heal burn patients, and corneas to provide the gift of sight.

Click here for the video story of Markita Lewis and her selfless decision to donate her son’s organs, which saved the lives of three children.

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Leader in Building Community

Gift of Life partners with 128 acute care hospitals and 15 transplant centers across its region in its life-saving work.

“Through our shared mission of saving lives and providing compassionate care, Gift of Life staff and hospital critical care teams work 24/7 to ensure that families have the opportunity to save and heal lives through organ and tissue donation,” said Gift of Life Vice President of Clinical Services Richard D. Hasz. “These extraordinary partnerships of dedicated and committed professionals build a strong culture of donation throughout our region.” 

Gift of Life annually recognizes hospitals with its Gift of Life Award for championing organ donation. Click here to hear this year’s award winners reflect upon caring for families and their partnership with Gift of Life.
Currently, approximately 113,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ in the U.S. and every day, 20 people die waiting.  In Gift of Life’s region, which encompasses the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, there are currently more than 5,000 men, women and children awaiting a life-saving transplant. 

“We are so privileged to serve the community that is the most generous region in the country for donation,” said Gift of Life Vice President of Administration and General Counsel Jan L. Weinstock, Esq. “Yet the need for increased communication and advocacy about the shortage of organs for transplant remains a critical public health issue. We urge everyone to register as a donor and join our mission. Our vision is that one day, no one will die waiting for an organ.”

It only takes 30 seconds to register at

Click here for the complete news release and videos of some of the stories that are so inspiring to us.