GRAND RAPIDS — The West Michigan Sports Commission and Spectrum Health announced today that Spectrum Health will serve as the presenting sponsor of the 2012 Transplant Games of America, in Grand Rapids from July 28 to 31.

Spectrum Health will partner with the WMSC and other community groups to support the games and help raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.

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The 2012 Transplant Games of America are a multisport event for those who have undergone lifesaving transplant surgeries or served as living donors. The games primarily will be held at Grand Valley State University in Allendale. Approximately 1,200 athletes from 46 states will participate in the games.

The Transplant Games call attention to the critical need for organ and tissue donation. There are currently more than 112,000 individuals on waiting lists in the U.S. Hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved each year if more people registered as organ and tissue donors.

“The Transplant Games of America carry on a 22-year tradition bringing athletes and donor family members together to celebrate and highlight the critical importance of organ donation,” said Bill Ryan, chairman of the Transplant Games of America. “Spectrum Health’s commitment  to transplant services and organ donation, plus their role in bringing the games to West Michigan, is greatly appreciated.”  

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As presenting sponsor, Spectrum Health will: 
• Provide volunteers for the Transplant Games
• Provide onsite medical coverage and treatment
• Partner with community organizations to register 20,000 or more new donors by the end of the Transplant Games

“Spectrum Health’s participation in the Transplant Games is fitting on a professional  and personal level”, said John Mosley, executive vice president and chief strategy officer, Spectrum Health System. “My life was saved by a double organ transplant. While on the waiting list, all I wanted was a second chance at life. As a transplant center, Spectrum Health is giving the people of West Michigan greater possibilities for a new life. As the presenting sponsor of the Transplant Games of America, we encourage people to join the organ donor registry and to celebrate the athletes who are coming to compete here.”

Spectrum Health is partnering with community, state and national organizations to run donor registry drives aimed at registering 20,000 or more new members by the end of the games. Our partners include the office of the Michigan Secretary of State, Gift of Life Michigan and Donate Life America.   According to Donate Life America: * 113,115 total patients are waiting for organ donations * 1,801 are pediatric patients * In 2011, there were 28,535 organ transplants performed nationwide * In 2011, there were 14,444 organ donors*

The WMSC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote Michigan’s West Coast as the premier host venue of a diverse level of youth and amateur sporting events, enhancing the economy and quality of life in the region. The WMSC currently hosts the Meijer State Games of Michigan. In 2011, the Meijer States Games consisted of 24 sports and an estimated 4,000 athletes from across Michigan.

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Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system in West Michigan offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of nine hospitals including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, a state of the art children’s hospital that opened in January 2011, and 190 service sites; the Spectrum Health Medical Group and West Michigan Heart, physician groups totaling more than 600 providers; and Priority Health, a health plan with 625,000 members. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer with more than 18,000 employees. The organization provided $176.5 million in community benefit during its 2011 fiscal year.