Center for Donation and Transplant Celebrates 50 Years of Saving Lives

As the Center for Donation and Transplant (CDT) celebrates 50 years, the organ procurement organization recently marked another milestone—its 2,000th donation.

CDT, located in Albany, is one of 58 federally designated nonprofit organ procurement organizations in the United States whose mission is to educate the community on the importance and impact of organ and tissue donation; support donor families through the donation process; and maximize each donor’s gifts through collaboration with hospitals and transplant centers.

Each of the four Albany Med Health System hospitals is serviced by CDT and each works closely with CDT staff when a potential organ or tissue donor is identified. In 2021, 193 donations were coordinated at System hospitals, resulting in 87 lives saved through organ donation and potentially 13,125 lives enhanced by tissue donation.

“The hospitals we serve are critical partners in the donation process and help us ensure that donation opportunities are maintained and well-coordinated for families who choose to give the gift of life through organ and tissue donation,” said Michael Thibault, executive director of CDT.

While medical advancements have helped lead to expanded opportunities for organ and tissue donation, Thibault stresses that the need is still great.

More than 109,000 people in the United States are waiting for an organ transplant. More than 8,800 of those are New York State residents, representing the third highest need of any state. Seventeen Americans die every day due to the lack of available organs for transplant.

Each April, the donation and transplantation community celebrates Donate Life Month to help raise awareness about organ and tissue donation, and CDT encourages its hospital partners to join the effort. Albany Medical Center will participate by encouraging staff to wear blue and green on Friday, April 22.

For more information about organ and tissue donation, visit CDT.