WEST ORANGE, N.J., April 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — RWJBarnabas Health, the largest, most comprehensive academic health care system in New Jersey, is supporting National Donate Life month in April by raising awareness of organ donation within the communities it serves. At Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, the Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Heart Transplant Program has transplanted over 1,100 healthy hearts, a milestone made possible only through the aid of organ donors and their families.

“The generosity of one donor can save so many lives,” said Margarita Camacho, M.D., Surgical Director of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center’s Heart Transplant Program. “As we celebrate National Donate Life month in April, it is more important than ever that we raise awareness about the life-changing power of organ donation.”

Dr. Camacho is one of the nation’s most renowned cardiac surgeons, having completed a record-setting 649 of the 1100+ -and-counting heart transplants which have taken place at Newark Beth Israel, and has performed more than 500 heart procurements. “There is nothing more amazing to me than performing a transplant surgery from the moment of procurement, preparing organs for patients in need,” added Dr. Camacho. “It’s like conducting an orchestra; a symphony that will provide a new future for not just one individual, but many.” Dr. Camacho recently published this blog post to inspire more people to commit to organ donation.

About Newark Beth Israel Heart Transplant Program

Newark Beth Israel has always been at the forefront of cardiac care and heart transplant. In 1986, Dr. Victor Parsonnet performed the first heart transplant in New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. In 1992, Newark Beth Israel became the first center in New Jersey to employ extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, Newark Beth Israel was the first hospital to use Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs) in New Jersey, and for more than a decade the Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant program at Newark Beth Israel has been ranked among the top heart transplant programs in the nation.

RWJBarnabas Health is home to one of the top 15 largest heart transplant programs in the nation, with locations in Newark and New Brunswick. In addition, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center has the only lung transplant program in New Jersey, providing access to single and double lung transplants. Saint Barnabas Medical Center is home to one of the largest kidney-pancreas transplant programs in the county, with more than 300 transplant surgeries performed each year and a leading Living Donor Institute that offers innovative living donation techniques available at only a few of the world’s leading transplant centers. New Jersey’s only academic medical center-based kidney-pancreas and heart transplant programs are both located at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick, where the most pancreas transplant surgeries are performed each year.

As part of RWJBarnabas Health’s support for National Donate Life Month, the system will continue to post information, images and graphics about organ donation using the #DonateLifeMonth hashtag.

To learn about any of the RWJBarnabas Health transplant programs, please visit rwjbh.org/transplant or call 888-724-7123.

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SOURCE RWJBarnabas Health