Donate Life America Bestows Prestigious National Awards
RICHMOND, June 26 — Donate Life America (DLA) recognized Steve Ferkau and George Bergstrom for their unselfish actions and broad-based efforts to increase organ donation and transplantation during the organization’s 2012 Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL.
The James S. Wolf, MD Courage Award is presented annually to an individual who has made a significant contribution towards increasing organ, eye and tissue donation on a regional or national level. The recipient must exhibit a personal commitment and enthusiasm for educating the public about the need for increased donation and an attitude of “service above self” in their mission.
The 2012 Wolf award was presented to Steve Ferkau, a double-lung and kidney recipient, who tirelessly spreads the word about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation. In addition to daily discussions about donation with people on the elevator, in corner cafes or with co-workers and friends, Mr. Ferkau shares his powerful story regularly. He has spoken on the national stage at transplant meetings, at community and hospital education awareness and fundraising events in a number of states, and to hospital and organ recovery professionals. His desire and willingness to encourage people to register as donors is remarkable, and his energy is infectious. Mr. Ferkau’s tirelcommitment includes his annual climb of the Hancock Center with his team, named “Kari’s Climbers” in honor of his lung donor.
Also awarded was the “Quiet Giant” award, which the DLA Board presents to an individual who works, often behind-the-scenes and without public recognition, to help increase donation and transplantation. The “Quiet Giant” award reads, “Looking for opportunities to serve, not for praise.”
This year, the “Quiet Giant” award was presented to George Bergstrom, Vice President of Member Relations for the American Hospital Association (AHA). In the past year, Mr. Bergstrom has humbly secured involvement from hospital partners across the country and ensured that the need for registered donors remained top of mind within the hospital community. Mr. Bergstrom also assisted in supporting Workplace Partnership for Life programs, a national initiative that unites U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the donation and transplant community and businesses, associations and organizations to spread the word about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation. He also secured participation in Donate Life America’s Flag Across America initiative, which involves a vivid and unified national message by the simple raising of a Donate Life flag in honor of patients waiting, organ, eye and tissue donors and their families.