ECMC News & Articles

Unyts, ECMC Kick-Off Donate Life Month

Joint effort to raise organ donation awareness, encourage our community to register as donors, and celebrate the generosity of those who have given the gift of life

The Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation & Kidney Care at ECMC is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to comprehensive patient care. Unyts is Western New York’s only organ, eye, tissue and community blood center. Together, Unyts and ECMC have teamed up to launch “Donate Life Month.” New York State currently has the lowest donor registry rate in the United States. ECMC and Unyts continue to collaborate and concentrate on increasing the community’s knowledge and understanding about the need for donation and transplantation.

Unyts President and CEO Mark Simon said, “This April, we hope to increase the number of people registered on the state donor registry, which is especially important in our region as New York State has the lowest rate in the country. Together with the Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation & Kidney Care, Unyts is working to save and enhance lives in our community each and every day. Unyts is proud of our work and for the relationship we have with ECMC, which is such a vital part of the community.”

ECMC President and CEO Thomas J. Quatroche, Jr., Ph.D. said, “Thanks to Unyts and their commitment to increasing donor awareness and highlighting the enduring benefit of making such critically needed donations, ECMC continues to grow our transplantation services, led by our talented and experienced multidisciplinary team that serves our community with consistently high scores in outcomes and transplant rates from deceased donors, and also offering laparoscopic donor nephrectomy procedures to promote faster recovery for live kidney donors.”

Today, more than 121,000 candidates are on the national organ transplant waiting list, and over 10% of the list is from New York State. As a result, an average of 21 people die each day because an organ was not made available for transplant. A single donor can save and heal as many as 50 others through needed organs, heart valves, corneas, skin, bone and tendons.

The Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation and Kidney Care at ECMC is the result of the merging of two transplant programs—from Buffalo General Hospital and ECMC—into a single streamlined, highly specialized program that offers patients world class care. The mission of the Center is to provide life-saving kidney and pancreas transplants, vascular access surgical care, hemodialysis for outpatients and inpatients, and treatment and disease management services for patients with all stages of chronic kidney disease. This concentration of services results in a greater number of procedures performed, a high level of expertise among the medical staff, and the most favorable outcomes for renal patients at all levels of care.

With state-of-the-art technology and procedures for transplant, as well as a growing living donor program, ECMC’s transplantation team is leading the way in True Care. In 2014, 13% of our wait list patients received transplants and we achieved a 96% 1-year survival rate—outcomes more successful than competitors like the University of Pittsburgh, Cleveland Clinic, and the University of Rochester.

These life-saving transplants are only possible through the support of Unyts’ and ECMC’s physician partners, community organizations and the generous people of WNY.

Unyts encourages everyone to commit to becoming a donor by visiting and completing a simple enrollment form, or by visiting your local Auto Bureau.


Donor family poses and displays name of family member donor etched on plaque, then mounted on ECMC donor recognition wall during ceremony to honor donors and their families.


ABOUT ERIE COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER (ECMC) CORPORATION: The ECMC Corporation includes an advanced academic medical center (ECMC) with 602 inpatient beds, on- and off-campus health centers, more than 30 outpatient specialty care services and Terrace View, a 390-bed long-term care facility. ECMC is a Level 1 Adult Trauma Center, a regional center for burn care, behavioral health services, transplantation, medical oncology and head & neck cancer care, rehabilitation and a major teaching facility for the University at Buffalo. Most ECMC physicians, dentists and pharmacists are dedicated faculty members of the university and/or members of a private practice plan. More Western New York residents are choosing ECMC for exceptional patient care and patient experiences—the difference between healthcare and true care™.

ABOUT UNYTS: Unyts is among the leading procurement organizations in the United States, and is one of the only eight centers nationwide to house organ, tissue and eye procurement in one location. With the addition of Community Blood Service, Unyts has become the first organization of its kind nationwide. Unyts operates as a non-profit serving the eight counties of Western New York and works to assist donor families, coordinate the donation process and increase knowledge and awareness within the community regarding transplantation.


Sarah Diina (Unyts) at 716.400.7249 /
Director of Marketing

Peter Cutler (ECMC) at 716-898-6505 or
VP, Communications and External Affairs

Joe Cirillo (ECMC) at 716-898-4300 or
Director, Public Relations and Communications

You are now leaving

Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMCC) is not responsible for the content, privacy policy, accuracy or legality of any website accessed through a link on A link to another website does not constitute an endorsement, guarantee or approval by ECMCC of the linked website, or the information, products or services contained therein.