NJ Sharing Network, the federally-designated nonprofit organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue in the state, has announced the appointment of Carolyn M. Welsh as president and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2023. During her 23-year tenure at NJ Sharing Network, Welsh has held several leadership positions, including her current role as executive vice president and chief operating officer. She succeeds Joseph S. Roth, who served as president and CEO for 23 years. Roth will continue to collaborate with Welsh and the NJ Sharing Network team in a consultant role into 2023.
“I am excited to lead our efforts to further advance our life-saving mission working with our caring and compassionate staff,” Welsh said. “They are amazing people who understand that what we do is much more than a job – it is a unified mission to save lives and give hope to those waiting for a second chance at life through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Our staff’s dedication and energy inspire me, and I look forward to our future as we work together to reach new heights and save more lives than ever before.”
Welsh was recently recognized by NJBIZ on its prestigious list of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business. She has guided effective strategic plans, policies and procedures that resulted in record growth in the number of lives saved and enhanced through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. New Jersey organ and tissue donor registrations also jumped 8.3% in 2021, ranking New Jersey #4 in percentage of state population on the National Donate Life Registry.
According to Roth, “Welsh is the perfect leader to guide NJ Sharing Network’s bold vision for the future to save and enhance more lives than ever before, which includes a goal of reaching 300 organ donors in a single year within the next three years. 2021 marked a record high of 233 organ donors in New Jersey.”
“Since I hired Carolyn 23 years ago, I have taken tremendous pride in personally witnessing her commitment to our life-saving mission and her unique ability to inspire others throughout our organization,” said Roth. “Her combination of intellect, passion and compassion have enabled her to make a significant impact, not only here in New Jersey, but within the broader organ and tissue donation community. It is an honor to work with Carolyn. Our combined efforts have helped NJ Sharing Network become a recognized leader in saving and enhancing lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation.”
Roth’s leadership at NJ Sharing Network helped quadruple the number of transplants in the Garden State since the organization was founded in 1987. As a past-President of the National Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO), Roth is nationally recognized for his visionary leadership and innovative approaches that have saved and enhanced the lives of tens of thousands of people. Roth also served as Co-Chair of the AOPO Legislative/Regulatory Committee and is credited with bringing about needed changes to national and state policies to improve the donation and transplant process and support transplant recipients, including the passage of the Immuno Bill in 2020, the NJ Hero Act of 2008, and the creation of a New Jersey “Donate Life” specialty license plate.
In addition to Welsh’s role at NJ Sharing Network, she serves on the board of directors of Eversight and on the Chief Operating Officer (COO) Council of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO). She previously served on the United Network for Organ Sharing’s (UNOS) OPTN OPO Committee. Welsh earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Seton Hall University and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and Nonprofit Management from North Central University. Welsh lives in Colts Neck, NJ with her husband, Tom, their sons Scott and Kyle, and their family dog, Riley.
“I am forever grateful to Joe (Roth) for his personal guidance and for continually sharing his experience and wisdom,” said Welsh. “Less than 1% of people that die in a hospital can be an organ donor. People’s lives depend on us. I take extraordinary pride in the people with whom I work. Our team is unstoppable, motivated to take on all challenges, and focused on saving more lives than ever before. We have developed strategic plans for growth that includes adding talent, resources, and programs to facilitate the donor process, support donor families, and increase our robust multicultural outreach and education efforts. I am confident this will lead us to achieve our bold vision of reaching 300 organ donors in a single year within the next three years.”
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