Nancy A. Kay
Charleston, SC – December 28, 2016: LifePoint, the federally certified organ, eye and tissue procurement organization for South Carolina (excluding Aiken and Edgefield counties), announces the retirement of its founder and only Chief Executive Officer and President, Nancy A. Kay. She founded the non-profit organization and has been instrumental in its life-saving mission since day one. Since its inception in 1984, initially named South Carolina Organ Procurement Organization (SCOPA), LifePoint has facilitated and honored the gifts of nearly 3,000 organ donors which resulted in almost 10,000 organs being transplanted. Ms. Kay’s decision to retire will bring to close a remarkable career of 32 years of continuous service to the organization. She has been invaluable in saving thousands of lives of patients on the organ transplant waiting list and enhancing the lives of many more through eye and tissue donation.
Ms. Kay started her career in 1979 at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) as a kidney perfusionist and transplant coordinator working with kidney dialysis patients. She says it took a “leap of faith” to leave MUSC and create South Carolina’s first organ procurement organization.
SCOPA’s name was changed to LifePoint on June 15, 2001. In January 2003, LifePoint merged with South Carolina Lions Eye Bank. In January 2005, the American Red Cross Southeastern Tissue Services ceased recovering tissue so LifePoint started recovering tissue too. In June 2015, LifePoint transferred its ocular department to Miracles in Sight (MIS) headquartered in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
One of Ms. Kay’s greatest accomplishments as head of LifePoint came from changes she made in organ donation methods over 15 years ago, improvements that led to LifePoint becoming one of the top organ procurement organizations in the United States. Her innovations have since been adopted by other organ procurement organizations nation-wide as best practice methods of working with donor families.[divider height=”20″ line=””] [blockquote photo=”” author=”Nancy A. Kay” company=”Former President and CEO, LifePoint, Inc.” link=”” target=”_blank”]“In 1984, there were just three employees and we worked with approximately 12 donors. We have reached many milestones since
then.”[/blockquote] [divider height=”20″ line=””]
In 2007, Ms. Kay also worked with Donate Life South Carolina to encourage state legislators to enact legislation to establish the South Carolina Organ and Tissue Donor Registry to help increase the number of organ and tissue donors in the state and to better honor their final wishes. The South Carolina Donor Registry was officially launched in January 2009. Today nearly 2 million South Carolinians have registered their intent to donate organs and tissues following their deaths.
“It is gratifying to see the growth and development that has taken place at LifePoint over the past 30 years. I feel now is the time in my life to step down and let someone else lead this wonderful organization into the future,” states Nancy A. Kay, the CEO and President of LifePoint. “In 1984, there were just three employees and we worked with approximately 12 donors. We have reached many milestones since then.”
After Ms. Kay’s retirement announcement to the LifePoint Board of Directors and staff in January 2016, an extensive nationwide search for her successor began in June. The process was narrowed down to the top five candidates and ultimately the offer of the CEO and President position was made to David DeStefano. Mr. DeStefano accepted and brings with him a wealth of experience in the field of organ and tissue recovery.
Over the past twenty years, Mr. DeStefano has been engaged in the life-saving endeavor of organ and tissue donation as a member of the executive leadership teams at the Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC) in Washington, DC, Lifesharing in San Diego, CA and most recently TransLife in Orlando, FL.
As the Director of Recovery Services, he led the WRTC to achieve the highest organ and tissue donation rates in its history. These results earned WRTC receipt of the prestigious Gold Medal of Honor for Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) performance from the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Mr. DeStefano left WRTC in 2012 to become the Director of Operations at Lifesharing. During his first year, the number of organ donors facilitated that year was the second highest in Lifesharing’s history. The organization simultaneously improved lung donation and transplantation by 130%.
Currently, Mr. DeStefano serves as the Executive Director at TransLife where he has been since 2014. In his first year, TransLife achieved the greatest number of organ donors in its history, while earning its second best year in tissue donation. The team’s remarkable success in organ donation represented an astounding 59% increase over the prior year. This led the nation in OPO performance improvement. This year TransLife has surpassed the record-setting achievements of 2015 in both organ and tissue donation. The organization also received the 2016 Innovation in Donation and Transplantation award from NATCO.
Mr. DeStefano has significant experience in the regional and national issues related to donation and transplantation. He has served on a variety of United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) committees. He is a member of the Donor Management Task Force and was the Chair of the Procurement Council.
For more information about Nancy A. Kay’s retirement from LifePoint and/or to set up an interview, contact Mark Johnson, Media Relations Coordinator for LifePoint at 843-763-7755 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.