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February 21, 2018

Around the nation: Indiana woman donates kidney to coworker

Daily Briefing

    Heather Szymaszek, who donated her kidney, didn't know the recipient, Jason Reyes, well when she volunteered her organ, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Florida, Indiana, and Utah.

    • Florida: President Trump on Friday visited Broward Health North Hospital to thank doctors, nurses, and others who treated those injured in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Trump during his visit Friday did not discuss gun violence but promised to address school safety and "the difficult issue of mental health." According to the Associated Press, the shooting, in which 17 people were killed, was the deadliest school shooting the country since a gunman opened fire at an elementary school in Connecticut over five years ago (AP/Politico, 2/16).

    • Indiana: When Heather Szymaszek learned that her coworker Jason Reyes had gone into kidney failure, she reached out to offer him a life-changing gift: a kidney. Szymaszek, who didn't know Reyes well at the time, recalled, "I messaged him and said, 'Well, I'm O-negative, so if you need something—like a kidney—let me know.'" The transplant was completed without issue on Dec. 27. Reyes said, "When she messaged me, I never expected her to be like, 'Here! Have my kidney!'" He added, "I never thought I would have the opportunity right away" (Quinn, Post-Tribune/Chicago Tribune, 2/18).

    • Utah: Intermountain Healthcare has donated $15 million to the University of Utah to help build a new medical school to replace its current 52-year-old facility. Campus officials have said the existing building is "seismically unsound and must be torn down in the coming years." Construction on the new building will cost an estimated $185 million and run from 2019 to 2022 (Paavola, Becker's Hospital CFO Report, 2/19).

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