Smithfield Foods Donation Helps Fund the Development of Life-Saving Technology

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Smithfield Foods Donation Helps Fund the Development of Life-Saving Technology

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 10:00am

CONTENT: Press Release

RICHMOND, Va., March 20, 2018 /3BL Media/ — The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc., is pleased to announce a $75,000 challenge grant to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to fund a proof of concept phase for UNOS’ Timely Donor Referralsm technology pilot. Smithfield will match dollar-for-dollar all donations made to UNOS for the program, up to $75,000.

UNOS serves as the nation’s organ transplant system, matching donated organs with the more than 100,000 men, women, and children awaiting lifesaving organ transplants. UNOS members encompass every transplant hospital, tissue-matching laboratory, and organ procurement organization in the United States, as well as voluntary health and professional societies, ethicists, transplant patients, and organ donor advocates.

The Timely Donor Referralsm 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.

“Smithfield is proud to support UNOS and believes its mission to advance organ availability and transplantation is incredibly important to the improvement of public health,” said Keira Lombardo, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Smithfield Foods and president of the Smithfield Foundation. “We look forward to seeing the life-saving benefits of this platform and commend UNOS on its innovative approach to advancing technology in health care.”

Smithfield’s contribution to UNOS is just one way the company is investing in healthcare innovations and advancements. Last month, Smithfield announced a research partnership with the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Engineering & Applied Science to explore and advance regenerative medicine technologies leveraging porcine bioproducts. The research is part of a collaborative project between UVA and Smithfield Bioscience, the company’s new strategic business platform focused on supporting a range of biotechnology solutions in areas of human therapeutics, tissue fabrication, and regenerative medicine.

The Smithfield Foundation’s challenge grant provides an exciting opportunity for UNOS to obtain the needed funding to develop this technology. Individuals, corporations, and foundations interested in making a philanthropic investment in this project can contact the Department of Philanthropy or make a gift online. These gifts will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Smithfield Foundation, up to $75,000. 

For more information about UNOS, please visit UNOS.org.

For more information about Smithfield Bioscience, please visit smithfieldbioscience.com.

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield, Eckrich, Nathan's Famous, Farmland, Armour, Farmer John, Kretschmar, John Morrell, Cook's, Gwaltney, Carando, Margherita, Curly's, Healthy Ones, Morliny, Krakus and Berlinki. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com.

About Smithfield Bioscience

Smithfield Bioscience is a strategic platform of Smithfield Foods, a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. Established in 2017, Smithfield Bioscience leverages byproducts from the meat production process for the development of pharmaceuticals, regenerative medicine, nutraceuticals, and medical device solutions. Smithfield leads the industry in developing these types of cutting edge initiatives, which support a range of biotechnology solutions in areas of human therapeutics, tissue fabrication and regenerative medicine. For more information, visit www.smithfieldbioscience.com.

About UNOS

UNOS serves as the nation’s organ transplant system, providing vital services to meet the needs of men, women and children awaiting lifesaving organ transplants. Based in Richmond, Va., UNOS is a private, nonprofit IRS-designated 501(c)(3) organization. UNOS members encompass every transplant hospital, tissue-matching laboratory and organ procurement organization in the United States, as well as voluntary health and professional societies, ethicists, transplant patients and organ donor advocates. For more information, visit UNOS.org.

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Media Contacts:

Smithfield Foods, Inc.

Diana Souder

dsouder@smithfield.com 

(757) 357-1675

UNOS

Anne Paschke

anne.paschke@unos.org

(804) 782-4909

 

UNOS Philanthropy:

David Zanitsch

david.zanitsch@unos.org

(804) 782-6581