The Department of Health has recommended the approval of two new heart transplant programs, at New York University Hospital and North Shore University Hospital, the first new heart transplant centers to be developed in New York State in nearly twenty years,” the statement said. “After careful review, the Department recommended approval on the basis that these programs will expand the availability of high quality organ transplant services, help increase donation and transplant rates, and improve the geographic accessibility of these programs, particularly for Long Island, Brooklyn, and Queens residents.
Every fall since 2013 Prof. Sophia Aidiniou has conducted voluntary educational training sessions on BMCC’s campus. Her Peer Educators helped to develop an annual event on Organ Donation Awareness and how it literally saves lives. This event generally occurs every November and draws anywhere from 300 to 500 students, faculty and staff over the course of two hours into the BMCC Richard Harris Terrace.
Students see video presentations on the power of organ donation; they hear speakers who share riveting stories of how a stranger or a mother saved not one but many lives through the gift of organ donations. Many times, in the audience, three or four people stand up to also provide testimonies on their own organ transplant or the transplant of a family member. Many of her speakers like Dave Rodgers, Dina Barham and Jennifer Lentini return each year to share their stories. Medical perspectives have been provided by Dr. Ernest Patti, Senior Emergency Physician and President of the St. Barnabas Hospital medical staff.
Under her leadership efforts and her collaborations with LiveOn NY, Prof. Sophia Aidiniou was responsible for providing a fun, engaging, and educational module for BMCC students to make an impact in the college community and in the communities where they live. Working together they increased the number of registered donors (many of them representing minority communities). Over the last four years, she has recruited over sixty (60) students and in time these students became Peer Educators who were able to spread the word about the importance of organ donations and transplants to others within BMCC and the NYC communities where they lived.