OneLegacy Salutes Kaufman for Making a "Meaningful Impact" and Helping to Bring Awareness to Issues Surrounding Organ Donation and Transplantation
LOS ANGELES, August 09, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ava Kaufman, founder and executive director of Ava’s Heart, has been honored as one of CNN’s Heroes, a program which for 15 years has been celebrating inspiring stories of "everyday people changing the world." You can view her story at cnn.com/specials/cnn-heroes.
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Ava’s Heart is a California-based non-profit charitable organization that provides critically needed assistance that insurance does not cover to transplant patients who are unable to access or afford it. Core to these services is providing the mandated pre & post-transplant housing, in addition to ancillary supportive services for those who travel to the Los Angeles area for their transplant-related care. Also integral to its mission is assisting donor families with burial expenses and promoting organ donation.
"The work Ava has done through Ava’s Heart and the incredible passion she brings every day to address the unique and complex issues inherent in organ transplantation is an inspiration of what one person can do to make a meaningful impact on the lives of so many," said Tom Mone, chief executive officer of OneLegacy, the organ, eye, and tissue recovery organization serving seven Southern California counties. OneLegacy has been a major sponsor and advocate of Ava’s Heart for many years, providing $150,000 in annual financial support through the OneLegacy Foundation, sponsoring numerous events and serving as a Patron at Ava’s House.
"OneLegacy plays a critical role in the nation’s healthcare system by connecting donors to recipients and acting as a bridge to life between hospitals and transplant centers," says Kaufman. "The organization’s appreciation of the need to support recipients and their families have led to a long partnership with, and support of, Ava’s Heart as together we work to fill in critical gaps on the path to lifesaving transplantation."
Kaufman, a heart transplant recipient, founded Ava’s Heart in 2011 to address the "social injustice and disparity that exists in the United States for access to life-saving transplant services," says Kaufman. "We do that by helping less fortunate transplant and donor families who are in need, by providing innovative wraparound services, temporary mandated housing, and encouraging systemic change that allows for increased access to transplant services. Through all if this work, Ava’s Heart is committed to addressing and reducing this disparity to save the lives of those who need transplants for survival."
As part of her profile as a CNN Hero, Kaufman discussed the unique Ava’s Heart housing initiative which provides a home away from home for transplant patients and their caregivers, by providing the mandated three months of housing post-transplant near transplant centers. Kaufman also describes Ava Heart’s "It’s Just ONE" campaign that empowers people to join together and help transplant patients and donor families by donating just one dollar per month. In addition, she pays tribute to her supportive corporate partners, including long-standing partner OneLegacy, calling CEO Mone "our greatest mentor" and saying that "we would not be able to operate without OneLegacy’s partnership and ongoing support."
Ava’s Heart also hosts an annual Heroes Ball in Beverly Hills, where the organization honors the "pioneers and visionaries in the field of organ donation and transplantation." This year’s Ball, sponsored by OneLegacy, will be a livestream event on September 23 where attendees will meet this year’s heroes and will hear directly from transplant patients and their caregivers who have stayed at Ava’s House and benefited directly from the outreach program.
For more information on Ava’s Heart or to find out about how to become involved, visit avasheart.org.
OneLegacy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in seven counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern. It serves more than 200 hospitals, 10 transplant centers, a diverse population of 20 million, donors and families across the region, and waiting recipients across the country. For more information, visit onelegacy.org.
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