The Living Legacy Foundation story begins in 1968 when the successful sharing of kidneys involving The Johns Hopkins Hospital, University of Maryland Hospital, Duke University, University of Virginia and the Medical College of Virginia resulted from funding from the U.S. Public Health Service.
As the transplant programs in Maryland began to grow in 1979, the centers at the University of Maryland Hospital and The Johns Hopkins Hospital merged their organ procurement and kidney preservation functions to form the Greater Baltimore Organ Procurement and Perfusion Center (GBOPPC).
In 1983, GBOPPC expanded it services to all of Maryland and became the Maryland Organ Procurement Center (MOPC). The organization later changed its name to the Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland. Today, more than 25 years and 7,000 organ transplants later, The Living Legacy Foundation is proud to continue to save and enhance lives in the community, while also providing support to the families of those who selflessly gave the gift of life.
The Living Legacy Foundation works closely with hospital partners throughout Maryland to implement best practices established by the Health and Human Services Organ Donation Transplant Collaborative to improve the donation rate in the United States. These best practices include identifying physician/clinical champions, establishing clinical triggers, holding donation team huddles and identifying and utilizing effective requesters in every case. Since 2005, with the implementation of best practices, LLF has seen an a 20 percent increase in organ donors and more than a 30 percent increase in the number of organs transplanted.
Through these proven best practices, physicians, nurses and medical care team members, along with Living Legacy staff, work together to increase the number of lives saved through organ donation.
In April 2008, The Living Legacy Foundation along with the Medical Eye Bank of Maryland and the Washington Regional Transplant Community introduced Donate Life Maryland with the launch of www.donatelifemaryland.org. The website, which is the home to Maryland’s online donor registry, allows Maryland residents to designate themselves as organ, eye and tissue donors and assist in sharing donation decisions with family and friends.
Organ and tissue donation provides a lasting legacy for donor families and also gives hope and second chances to transplant recipients and their families. One donor family member expressed the comfort donation can bring in a recent communication with her husband’s organ recipient, “when you dance with your daughter on her wedding day…know that my husband is smiling and in a way, sharing those special times with you.”