Tissue donors save and change lives, but it only works if donors are matched with people in need. Since 2013, the team at the Idaho State EMS Communications Center has been helping make that connection.
Staff from the Idaho State EMS Communication Center (StateComm), Envision Sight Eye Bank, and Nampa Police Department will gather on Monday, Nov. 6, at 2:30 p.m. for a news conference that will feature a unique 10-year partnership that connects donors with those in need and to unveil a gubernatorial proclamation honoring November as Eye Donation Month. News media are invited to attend.
What: Eye Donation Month news conference
Where: Idaho Statewide Communications Center, 700 S. Stratford Dr., Meridian, Building 7
When: Monday, Nov. 6 at 2:30 p.m. (Please show up a little early, so we can start on time.)
Who: Speakers will include StateComm Program Manager Michele Carreras, Envision Sight Eye Bank CEO Jay Lugo, Nampa Police Department Community Engagement Coordinator Carmen Boeger, and Envision Sight Eye Bank Medical Director Dr. Ryan Barrett.
Many tissue donors are connected to patients through hospital systems, but when a person passes away outside a hospital, police and other first responders can become their gateway into the donor system.
Based in Meridian, StateComm is a component of the Bureau of EMS and Preparedness in the Division of Public Health at the Department of Health and Welfare (DHW). It routes emergency calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week—making it a logical point of contact for first responders reporting pre-hospital deaths.
When emergency responders reach out about a recently-deceased person, StateComm sends the name, date of birth, and location of the deceased to a referral center, which searches for matches.
Since the passage of legislation in July of 2013, SB1071, requesting that first responders provide information about people that had died at the scene, StateComm and several other Idaho dispatch agencies have stepped up to help coordinate more than 1,000 prehospital death notifications.
Note that entry to StateComm involves two gated entries. Members of the media attending should inform the call box attendants that they’re attending the StateComm news conference in Building 7 and will be granted entry.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.