The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc., has announced a $75,000 donation to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to fund a proof-of-concept phase for its Timely Donor Referral technology pilot. The donation is a result of a successful challenge grant announced in March, through which Smithfield has matched dollar-for-dollar all donations to UNOS to help meet its goal.
“We’re thrilled to be able to advance the proof of concept for this project, which could help change the lives of so many,” said Brian Shepard, chief executive officer of UNOS. “Smithfield’s gift made this possible by inspiring others to participate.”
UNOS is the national organ transplant system that matches donated organs to the more than 100,000 men, women, and children awaiting life-saving transplants. The Timely Donor Referral technology project’s goal is to improve the manual processes by which staff in donor hospitals notify organ procurement organizations (OPO) about potential organ donors. With Smithfield’s gift, the pilot project will begin to build and test technology to integrate with electronic medical record (EMR) systems used by the nation’s health systems. The end result could be a quicker, more secure, and reliable exchange of highly time-sensitive information between the donor hospitals and OPOs. This project seeks to exponentially increase the number of lifesaving organs available for transplant
Over the next few months UNOS will collaborate with a team of key partners, including Cerner, a national provider of electronic health information technology to hospitals and health systems, the Gift of Life Michigan (an OPO), and StatLine, a technology provider to OPOs. Together, the team will identify, develop, and test solutions, as well as analyze the cost benefits and expense for a national implementation of this solution. The targeted completion of the proof of concept phase is December 2018.
“Smithfield’s contribution to UNOS is just one of several ways we are investing in the innovation, improvement and advancement of the medical industry,” said Keira Lombardo, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Smithfield Foods and president of the Smithfield Foundation. “We believe the life-saving benefits of this pilot program have the potential to create a positive and progressive impact across the country.”
In addition to this gift, Smithfield also supports advances in medical technology through Smithfield Bioscience, its business unit focused on supporting a range of biotechnology solutions in areas of human therapeutics, tissue fabrication, and regenerative medicine.
The Smithfield Foundation’s challenge grant provides the needed funding to begin developing this UNOS technology. However, a project of this magnitude requires continued support and dedication from individuals, corporations, and foundations. Those interested in making a philanthropic investment in this project can make a gift online. For more information about UNOS, please visit UNOS.org.
Source: Smithfield Foods