Islands’ Service BC agents honoured for asking a tough question

  • Oct. 20, 2015 12:00 p.m.

By Quinn BenderHaida Gwaii ObserverThe Kidney Foundation of Canada’s B.C. chapter presented staff at the BC Service centre in Queen Charlotte with a Community Leadership Award Oct. 1 for their support of organ donation. Since April 1, a new partnership between BC Transplant and the 61 Service BC locations throughout the province has allowed the public to register their decision on organ donation. According to the province, more than 95 per cent of British Columbians support organ donations but only 20 per cent have registered their decision to be a donor. The program was designed to make that easier. Over the past two months in Queen Charlotte, since staff committed themselves to broach the subject with anyone renewing their drivers licence or Care Card, government agent Monica Jones says only two or three individuals of the approximately 32 to register locally have opted out of donating their organs. Service BC’s mandate isn’t to promote organ donation per se, but promote registration itself.”Whether yes or no, both are important, because if you’re at the end of life and you haven’t talked about this with your family, you’ve at least registered your wishes and that will be known to doctors.”Dr. Tamara Pacholuk, who happened to be at the centre during the small ceremony, said the program will prove more helpful than most people probably realize.”Having that information is really helpful. I really appreciate what you guys are doing here,” she said. Cari Manz, owner of Rubber Boots and Chickens Guesthouse in Port Clements, and proponent of organ donation, was asked to present the award on behalf of the Kidney Foundation’s BC and Yukon branch.”This award is to recognize your leadership, dedication and support of organ donation,” she said. “You are helping to bring hope to patients and their families every time you ask someone to consider registering their wishes for organ donation.”The Kidney Foundation has set a goal to increase organ donor registration and kidney transplantation 50 per cent by 2020. Since the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizen’s Services partnered with BC Transplant for the program at Service BC centres, 5,000 people have registered. Ms. Manz presented customer service representative Margaret Bonneau with a letter from Minister of Technology Amrik Virk thanking her for the dedication to the cause.”At first it was really awkward to broach this subject with people,” she said. “But now we don’t have any problem with it, because they’re always thanking us for providing this information. It’s not awkward at all.”To register either visit Service BC in Queen Charlotte, or visit www.transplant.bc.ca.

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