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WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital recognizes National Donate Life Month with CORE flag-raising ceremony

BUCKHANNON, WV – WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital recognized National Donate Life Month with a flag-raising and presentation for CORE, the Center for Organ Recovery and Education. 

Through commitment to donation, last year WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital had three tissue donors, healing up to 225 lives, and three cornea donors, giving sight to six individuals.  The hospital’s cardiac rehab department also plays a huge role in keeping local transplant recipients healthy by maintaining their health and well-being.

Prior to the flag-raising, a ceremony was held with speakers that included Skip Gjolberg, President and CEO of WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital;  Annie Thorne, the hospital CORE representative; Jeremy Zeiders, the PSL/Donor Family Supports Coordinator for CORE; liver donor recipient Joe Malcolm, who was accompanied by his wife Debora Malcolm and son Joseph Malcolm; and Suzanne Mates, accompanied by her husband Rodney Mates, the parents of Joe’s liver donor.

Nationally, approximately 100,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant, with 500 of those individuals living in our own state, and at least 17 people will die each day without receiving the transplant they so desperately need. Someone is added to the national organ transplant list every 10 minutes, but registering to become an organ, tissue, and cornea donor takes less than one minute. One organ donor can save up to 8 lives, and one tissue donor can help more than 75 people.

All major religions support donation as a final act of compassion and generosity. Anyone can be a potential organ donor regardless of age, race, or medical history. Donors can place the designation on their driver’s license or state identification card when they receive or renew their license or ID.  You can also register at  To learn more, visit

Front row, left to right: Rodney Mates, Joe Malcolm, Suzanne Mates. Back row, left to right: Jamie Bailey, Myles Reilly, Jill McGrail, Jeremy Zeiders, Annie Thorne, Skip Gjolberg, Debora Malcolm, Paula Cutright, Joseph Malcolm, Sandy Boyd, Lindsay Zirkle, Samantha Ault, Brandi Brown, Gage Rewerts, Destiny Brady, Kenna Riddle.