Press Release

UC Health Hosts Virtual Flag-Raising to Honor Organ Donors and Recipients

Apr. 30, 2021

CINCINNATI (April 30, 2021) —In 2020, despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, UC Health was able to continue performing life-saving organ transplant surgeries. More than 300 people received the gift of life as a result.

On April 30, UC Health and LifeCenter celebrated those organ transplant recipients – and the organ donor families whose gift gave life to others – at a special flag-raising event held virtually this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“The past year has challenged our Transplant team like never before, and we are proud that we were able to continue to provide life-saving organ transplants to so many patients in need,” said Shimul A. Shah, MD, UC Health surgeon and the James and Catherine Orr Endowed Chair of Liver Transplantation, director of the Division of Transplantation and professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. “Though we couldn’t be together in person this year, it was important that we continued to honor our donor families and transplant recipients, as well as the teams of experts who care for them.”

The 13th annual Flag-Raising Ceremony was held at UC Health, Greater Cincinnati’s only comprehensive organ transplant program for adults, in partnership with LifeCenter Organ Donor Network.

The online event included remarks from UC Health staff, organ transplant recipients, and donor families – driving home the lifesaving significance of organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation.

At the conclusion of the event, the special blue and green flag was raised outside UC Medical Center to serve as a constant reminder of the precious gift of life – and the importance of choosing organ and tissue donation. April is National Donate Life Month.

On Wednesday, Cincinnati City Council issued a proclamation making April 28, 2021 “UC Health Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation Day” in recognition of the program’s service to the community.

UC Health’s University of Cincinnati Medical Center is home to Greater Cincinnati’s only comprehensive organ transplant program for adults. The program provides heart, kidney, liver and pancreas transplants and is considered a national leader in transplantation surgery and research. The program celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017.

In 2020, UC Medical Center ranked 16th in the nation among liver transplant centers and 40th in the nation among kidney transplant centers for the number of transplants performed, a measure of a program’s strength and success, along with other measures such as patient outcomes and academic research.

In 2020, UC Health launched Greater Cincinnati’s only Living Donor Liver Transplant Program. When a patient receives a living donor liver transplant, his or her entire liver is removed and replaced with a portion of an organ donor’s healthy liver. The human liver is able to regenerate, or to replace lost liver tissue with growth from the remaining healthy tissue.

In addition to inpatient care, UC Health provides a number of outpatient transplant evaluation clinics across Greater Cincinnati, northern Kentucky and southwest and central Ohio. For information or to schedule an appointment, please call 513-475-8400.

Media Contact

Amanda Nageleisen

Director of Corporate Media Relations