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SGMC Health Earns National Recognition for Promoting Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donation 

Posted on: December 13th, 2023

SGMC Health Director of Critical Care Services Chad Nelms, Patient Care Coordinator William Pellow, Palliative Care Nurse Navigator Erin Holt, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Tana Macera, Director of Chaplain Services Brian Sayre, and Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Cherise Giddens. 

SGMC Health earned national recognition for its efforts to increase organ, eye, and tissue donor registrations across the state of Georgia through the DoNation Campaign. DoNation engages workplaces of all sizes and industries to highlight the importance in the lifesaving and life-giving mission of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.  

SGMC Health, in partnership with LifeLink® of Georgia, the local organ and tissue recovery program, and Donate Life Georgia, the state’s organ and tissue donor registry, earned Platinum Level recognition for conducting organ donation education and donor registration activities. 

According to Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Tana Macera, “Organ donation is a life-saving, life-enhancing opportunity to help another person who is at the end of the line for hope. It is a selfless act that extends the gift of life. By choosing to be an organ donor you have the power to leave a lasting legacy and give others a second chance at life and hope for a brighter future.” 

During the 2022-2023 campaign cycle, SGMC Health’s hospital campuses in Lowndes, Berrien, and Lanier counties were among 87 participating hospital partners within the LifeLink® service area. Through various events and activities, new donor registrations were added to Georgia’s registry. 

SGMC Health Director of Chaplain Services Brian Sayre shared that it is humbling to play a role in the organ donation process. “There are times in the midst of tragedy when many things fall into place and organ transplantation is a possibility. Recognizing that one family is experiencing a loss, our team comes alongside the donor’s family with compassion and respect. It is bittersweet to mourn the loss and celebrate lives saved all at the same time.” 

Nationally, over 103,000 individuals are waiting for a lifesaving transplant, and more than 3,000 of those individuals live in Georgia. Unfortunately, every day in the United States, 17 people pass away because an organ was not available in time to save their lives. Every nine minutes, another person is added to the national organ transplant waiting list. This ongoing need reaffirms the critical and growing need for more registered organ, eye, and tissue donors. Anyone, regardless of their age or health, can make the decision to become a registered organ and tissue donor when obtaining a driver license through the Department of Driver Services, when purchasing a hunting or fishing license online through the Department of Natural Resources, or online by going to