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ConnectLife Story

Our Mission

ConnectLife is committed to educating the community, inspiring donation, and connecting lives.

Our Vision

ConnectLife envisions a future where blood is available for all in need, we decrease the number of deaths of those waiting for a transplant, innovative tissues enhance the quality of life and advance cutting-edge research, every donor and donor family is honored, and employees are empowered and motivated to realize their highest potential in service of our mission.

Our Story

ConnectLife helps people help others. As a federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organization and community blood bank we save and enhance lives through organ, eye, tissue, and blood donation.

ConnectLife was founded in 1981 as the Organ Procurement Agency of Western New York (OPAWNY). The organization merged with the Buffalo Eye Bank in 1993 to form Upstate New York Transplant Services. With the addition of the blood bank in 2007, we became the first organization in the country with organ, eye, tissue, and blood donation services under one roof. Since this time, we have become the primary supplier of blood products for over 75% of the WNY community. The organization moved our headquarters to Williamsville in 2019. The same year, we rebranded as ConnectLife to better represent our expanded scope and the links between donors and recipients.

Over the last four decades, ConnectLife has added service lines, increased staffing, and grown operations across New York State. In 2019, ConnectLife entered into a partnership with the Center for Donation and Transplantation in Albany for tissue recovery, and in 2022 we entered into a partnership with Fingerlakes Donor Recovery Network for tissue and eye recovery.

Though our organization has dramatically increased its footprint, ConnectLife remains dedicated to serving the community- helping organ, eye, and tissue donor families honor the wishes of their loved ones during an emotional time; making the blood donation process as personal and painless as possible; working with schools to equip the next generation of donors with the knowledge they need to make lifesaving decisions; and supporting New Yorkers’ inherent desire to do good.

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