"Our comeback can only be successful if Rhode Islanders are leading healthy, productive lives," said Raimondo. "The Advisory Council provides much needed education about organ and tissue donation and Kate's background will make her a great asset to the team. I appreciate her taking on this important initiative."
"I am well aware of the challenges that patients with organ failure face, including a lack of transplant donors and the medical struggles before and after transplant," said Gutman. "The medical community in Rhode Island is amazing but limited primarily by transplant availability. Public education and outreach may have a major impact and I see many opportunities to bring this to fruition while serving on the Advisory Council."
At age 18, Gutman was diagnosed with kidney disease and started dialysis when she was 21. At the ages of 23 and 42, she received cadaveric kidney transplants that have allowed her to lead a very full and productive life. She works in customer service for Stop Wasting Abandoned Property (SWAP), a private non-profit community development corporation in South Providence. Gutman and her husband live in Barrington and have two children who are now in college.
The Advisory Council assists in coordinating the efforts of all public and private agencies within the state concerned with organ and tissue donation public education. It also advises the state on developing strategies to raise awareness and increase organ and tissue donation registrations.