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Gift of Life

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Gift of Life Donor Program, the nonprofit organization serving the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, is responsible for recovering and distributing organs and tissues used in life-saving and life-enhancing transplants.

Founded in 1974 by the Greater Delaware Valley Society of Transplant Surgeons, Gift of Life is one of the oldest and largest of 58 organ procurement organizations (OPO) in the United States. Gift of Life is part of the nationwide organ and tissue sharing network run by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
Image of Gift of Life President and CEO Howard M. Nathan addressed the United Nations in October 2009 as an expert witness to discuss ways to stop illegal organ trafficking.Zoom+ Gift of Life President and CEO Howard M. Nathan addressed the United Nations in October 2009 as an expert witness to discuss ways to stop illegal organ trafficking.

In addition, Gift of Life coordinates life-enhancing tissue transplants for area residents who are in need of corneas for sight-restoring procedures, as well as skin, tissue and bone to repair injuries.

Gift of Life partners with 150 acute care hospitals to offer families from around the region the option of donation.

Departments and Services

Clinical Services Department

Clinical Services coordinates the entire organ and tissue donor process. Clinical Services staff members provide timely on-site response assessment, evaluation and clinical management of potential donors, and interact with the hospital staff regarding the donation process. This department also generates organ transplant candidate listings on national and local computer systems and oversees allocation of organs and tissues.

Other services include:

Preservation and Packing: Assuring that each recovered organ or tissue is preserved, packaged, and documented in a consistent and systematic manner.

- Tissue Services: Facilitates the recovery of skin, bone, corneas, and other tissue for donation.

- Transplant Information Center: Helps transplant coordinators in placing organs for transplant. TIC staff also speaks personally to donor families when an opportunity for tissue donation arises.

- Lion's Eye Bank of Delaware Valley: the eye bank for the southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware regions.

Hospital Services Department

Hospital Services interacts with the 150 hospitals throughout the region to provide support and education surrounding the clinical aspects of organ and tissue donation and transplantation. It develops collaborative relationships with referring physicians and nurses.

Community Relations Department

Community Relations provides community outreach and education programs to increase awareness of the critical need for donated organs and tissues to save and enhance the lives of patients in need of transplants. The Community Relations Department staff works closely with volunteers to coordinate grass roots education programs and interacts with area media outlets. Specific projects include: programs to target minority communities, paid and public service advertising campaigns, marketing communications, special events and public affairs and legislative affairs activities.

Family Support Services Department

Family Support Services provides a variety of grief and bereavement programs to help those whose loved ones have died. Services include individual counseling, group sessions, monthly support groups and other special programs. More information on FSS can be found HERE.

Administrative Deparment

The Administrative Department includes the Human Resources Department which develops policies and directs and coordinates human resources activities, such as employment, compensation, labor relations, benefits, training, and employee services.

Information Systems Department

Information Systems supports upgrades and develops Gift of Life's computer network. It designs and develops database software for internal and external use and oversees the security of computer systems and telecommunications infrastructure.

Finance Department

Finance directs and manages all financial reporting, cost accounting, cash management, and investments. This department prepares, documents and files the HCFA Cost Report, prepares the budget and monitors the fiscal position of the organization.

Core Values

Employees of Gift of Life Donor Program strive daily to integrate the following core values in their professional life:

  • Professional Integrity: Build trust, admit mistakes and act honorably in carrying out all professional responsibilities;

  • Expertise/Knowledge: Demonstrate job knowledge and continually seek new information to advance the Gift of Life Donor Program mission;

  • Excellence: Achieve the best possible results in every situation;

  • Commitment: Demonstrate through actions a strong desire to do everything possible to help Gift of Life succeed in its mission and goals;

  • Compassion: Demonstrates appreciation and respect for the perspectives of others and responds appropriately;

  • Teamwork: Effectively collaborate with others internally and externally to achieve common goals, and;

  • Advocacy: Act in strong support of donation and transplantation and represent/promote the mission effectively.


  • Improve the quality of life of patients awaiting transplantation by maximizing the availability of donor organs and tissues while upholding the highest medical, legal, ethical, and fiscal standards;

  • Work in partnership with the region's hospitals and health care professionals to ensure that the family of each potential donor is offered the option of donation in a sensitive and caring manner;

  • Provide educational programs and materials to positively predispose all members of the community to organ and tissue donation so that the donation is viewed as a fundamental human responsibility;

  • Serve as a community resource by providing support for families of donors as well as transplant recipients and their families, and;

  • Serve as a leader in the advancement of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.