Health First Promotes Organ Donation Awareness

By  //  April 17, 2012


BREVARD COUNTY • ROCKLEDGE, FLORIDA – Each year thousands of lives are saved because of the generosity of organ donors.

TRAUMA SURGEONS Dr. Bartel Turk, front, and Dr. Peter Pappas are surrounded by members of the Holmes Regional Medical Center Transplant team, including left to right, Audrey Harling, Cindy Werling, Nancy Lefort, Lynn Williams, Pappas, Nicki Andersen. (Courtesy of

Yet more than 100,000 children and adults are still awaiting this precious life-saving gift this year.

As part of Health First’s efforts to engage the Brevard community in organ and tissue donation education during April’s National Donate Life Month, Health First is joining the national Flags Across America Campaign by conducting flag-raising ceremonies at each of our four hospitals April 20.

Flags will be raised at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Palm Bay Hospital, Cape Canaveral Hospital and Viera Hospital.

The event is co-sponsored by TransLife, the federally-designated organ donation program for East Central Florida.

Holmes Regional Medical Center received TransLife’s Award of Excellence for exceptional hospital and clinical quality performance practices that contributed to an overall 92 percent donation rate in 2011.

Giving Life: The Ultimate Gift

In 2011, 50 life-saving donations were made at Holmes Regional Medical Center alone.

Health First has been serving the residents of the Brevard County area since its formation in 1995 with roots extending back to 1937 when Holmes Regional Medical Center opened as the first hospital in Brevard County.

It is the only multi-hospital, not-for-profit health system in Brevard County with every dollar that is not used to pay for patient care staying in the county to improve healthcare services for all residents, including those without the financial means to pay.

All members of Health First’s board of directors reside within its service area and provide oversight for a broad range of services and products, including four acute-care hospitals, commercial and Medicare-Advantage HMO health plans, a multi-specialty physician group, outpatient diagnostic and treatment centers, a network of fitness and wellness services, and the only trauma center in Brevard County.