NJ Sharing Network's 30th Anniversary Gala: The Gift of Life

Steve Adubato goes on-location to the NJ Sharing Network 30th Anniversary Gala to speak with Carolyn Welsh, VP and Chief Clinical Officer at the NJ Sharing Network about what happens behind the scenes after an organ or tissue gift has been made.

3/26/18 #2121






"We are at the Liberty Science Center in beautiful Jersey City. I'm here with my colleague Joanna Gagis, the anchor of Life & Living. And why don't we introduce our very special guest? Yes. We have Carolyn Welsh who is the VP and Chief Clinical Officer at the New Jersey Sharing Network. Carolyn, thanks for being here. Talk to us a little bit about what you're doing, because you're working very much behind the scenes, a job that no one really sees right? Yes. A lot of people don't know that this exists, and if you're someone that's waiting for an organ transplant, you want the New Jersey Sharing Network, and you want the Sharing Network clinical team on your side. We are there every day, working very very hard, to make sure that we can save as many lives as we can. So I have a team of over a hundred people that work every day to save and enhance lives through organ and tissue donation. Well I'll tell you, I mean, this is the 30th Anniversary Gala of the New Jersey Sharing Network. It's an extraordinary organization. But it's interesting, Joanna and I have been to several of the 5Ks right? You see thousands of people at those races, but what's interesting is behind the scenes, behind the very public events and the public awareness campaign that we've been involved in regarding organ and tissue donation, a lot goes on behind the scenes, as you we're just telling my colleague Joanna? Yes, absolutely. So we are there from the start of when someone has an untimely death, and they call from the hospital to our call center, that's 24 hours, seven days a week, with people there every day, and they take the call and determine the medical suitability, and then we send specialized, trained people to speak to potential donor families to see if they had designated their wishes or if their family would like to say yes to donation and save someone's life with that generous gift. And Carolyn, we know that when that decision is made, it doesn't end there. There are support services for those family members. Talk about those services and why they're so important. Yes, we have a dedicated Family Services team, and they care for families. Like coming up soon, we have grief support coming up before the holidays, a lot of times the families, before their first holiday of losing a loved one, it's very very difficult. So we have them come to our office and see how we remember their loved ones and we never forget them. How do you do that? Most... I'm sorry..."