Friday, July 16, 2010

Film festival shines spotlight on organ donation

DONATE LIFE HOLLYWOOD: Madsen and his wife, Lynn, on the red carpet in Hollywood Film festival shines spotlight on organ donation

WHILE SOME MGHERS are having a brush with stardom through the ABC series "Boston Med," one MGH physician -- Joren C. Madsen, MD, DPhil, director of the MGH Transplant Center and section chief of Cardiac Surgery -- rubbed shoulders with celebrities for a worthwhile cause during the Donate Life Hollywood Film Festival in Beverly Hills June 11 and 12. The annual event -- which brings physicians and organ donation advocates together with actors, writers and producers -- aims to encourage accurate and inspiring television and film storylines about organ and tissue donation.

The two-day program featured screenings, panel discussions and award presentations. Madsen served on one of several physician panels designed to dispel myths surrounding organ and tissue transplantation. As past president of the American Transplant Society (ATS), he also presented a clip from the Redford AnimAction Project, a collaboration with ATS that teaches children about animation and helps them create animated public service announcements on organ and tissue donation.

"I was heartened and impressed by the outpouring of support by the stars and the producers and directors behind the scenes in Hollywood," says Madsen. "Raising awareness about organ transplantation and the need for organ donors is critically important, and these are the people who have a unique ability to get that message out to the public."

For more information on organ and tissue donation, or to register as a donor, call the New England Organ Bank at 800-446-6362 or visit

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