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Delta State honored for organ donor victory

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The Delta State University Student Nurses Association was honored Thursday at Walter Sillers Coliseum for leading the university to a victory in the 2014 Donor Challenge against Mississippi College.

Chuck Stinson, director of Community Services & Relations at the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA), presented a trophy and $500 check to the student nurses who helped lead the campaign to promote organ and tissue donation awareness

MORA organized the Donor Challenge as a form of college outreach that promotes the need for organ, eye and tissue donation. The program provides education, volunteer training and gives college students a chance to register as donors while encouraging donor designations campus-wide among fellow students, staff, faculty, alumni and fans.

During the four-week challenge period, Delta State accounted for more donor designations than competition rival Mississippi College. Campus totals were based on a unique scoring system that fully credited new donor designations and utilized a point system for existing designations from fans, students, alumni, faculty and staff that identified their donor status. Delta State tallied 341.75 points, which accounted for 234 new donor designations and 431 existing designations. MC finished close behind with 311 points (267 new donor designations, 216 existing designations).

“Being part of the 2014 Donor Challenge was a lot of work, but it has been very rewarding,” said Delta State senior nursing student, Mary Hodges. “During the 10 events we hosted, I have had the opportunity to interact with students, faculty and the community that I would not have had the chance to even meet without this challenge. I especially loved hearing the personal stories about organ donation. It was a great experience and provided a chance for us to work together for a great cause.”

At present, more than 1,400 Mississippians and more than 123,000 Americans are in need of a lifesaving transplant. A new patient is added to the national transplant waiting list every 10 minutes and an average of 18 people die each day awaiting a lifesaving transplant that never comes. One organ donor can save eight lives and one tissue donor can save or improve the lives of 50 recipients or more. To register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, go to www.donatelifems.org.

DSU Student Health Fair

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This event, sponsored by DSU Robert E. Smith School of Nursing MSN Family Nurse Practitioner students, will allow DSU student body an opportunity to attend a health fair with vital health information (Ht, Wt, BMI, Blood pressure readings, dental health, blood sugar monitoring, sleep apnea, etc.) relevant to their health promotion issues. The theme will be “March Madness”. DSU Students will be encouraged to visit each of the eight tables to find more specific details concerning a healthy lifestyle and win prizes.

Estate gift presentation

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Delta State University will celebrate the largest private donation in the institution’s history with a gift presentation at the Robert E. Smith School of Nursing on Feb. 4 at 11:30 a.m.

The gift will be presented on behalf of the Robert E. Smith Estate, and all students, faculty, staff, alumni, patrons, media and friends are invited to attend.

Remarks will be be given by President William N. LaForge, Executive Director of the Foundation Keith Fulcher, Dean of the School of Nursing Dr. Lizabeth Carlson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Charles McAdams, President Emeritus Dr. Kent Wyatt, President of the Foundation Board Anne Wynn Weissinger, Robert E. Smith scholarship recipient Ruth Ann Lopez Luciano and others.

Smith’s cumulative support, through gifts during his lifetime as well as through his estate, bestows him the distinction of being the largest individual donor in the history of Delta State. The celebration next week is to honor Smith’s goal of transforming healthcare in the Mississippi Delta.

For more information on attending the presentation, giving to Delta State or the School of Nursing, please visit www.deltastate.edu or call 662-846-4704.