Smithfield Foods donation helps fund development of life-saving technology

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RICHMOND, Va. — The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc., has announced a $75,000 challenge grant to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to fund a proof of concept phase for UNOS’ Timely Donor Referral technology pilot. Smithfield will match dollar-for-dollar all donations made to UNOS for the program, up to $75,000.

The Timely Donor Referral technology project’s goal is to change the inefficient manual processes utilized by hospital staff in the nation’s 5,500 donor hospitals when notifying of a potential organ donor. Automated technology will more quickly, securely, and reliably exchange highly time-sensitive information between the donor hospital and one of the nation’s 58 Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs). The dynamic outcome of this project could exponentially increase the number of lifesaving organs available for transplantation.

“We’re tremendously grateful to Smithfield and all of our Timely Donor Referralsm project donors for helping us to realize our goal of easing access to critical transplant information,” said Brian Shepard, chief executive officer of UNOS. “Once developed, this technology will mean more organs recovered and transplanted, higher data quality and information security, and time and dollars saved. Ultimately, it will mean more lives saved.”

The Timely Donor Referralsm pilot project will build technology to integrate with the varied electronic medical record (EMR) systems used by the nation’s health systems. Over the next several months, UNOS will form a collaborative team of OPOs, hospitals, and EMR vendors. During the proof of concept phase they will identify, develop, and test solutions, as well as analyze the cost benefits and expense for a national implementation of this solution.

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Corey Bryant serves as Director of Communications for The Alliance.
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