SUMMIT, NJ — John Creel of Summit was recently appointed to the board of trustees for NJ Sharing Network, a nonprofit organization that recovers and places organ donations. Creel, himself a registered organ donor, is the director of transplant marketing for the immunology and dermatology business unit at Novartis Pharmaceuticals.
“I discovered NJ Sharing Network after my family participated in the 5K in New Providence,” Creel told LocalSource in an April 24 phone interview. “I also crossed paths with them for work. I’ve seen what they’ve done for people, and many friends and neighbors are supporters of them and the work they do.”
Creel said he looks forward to spreading awareness in his new role and looks forward to supporting the cause.
“There’s a shortage of organs in this country and I want to raise awareness and ensure people get the organ transplants they need,” Creel said. “I’m looking forward to helping this cause. I was moved by the idea to help the board do more and pleasantly surprised by this opportunity.”
Creel has previous work experience in the field of transplantation, which has given him a chance to see the difference he can make in people’s lives.
“I have been working in the area of transplantation and it’s given me the opportunity to see what they can do,” Creel said. “We meet families that face a tragic situation where they lose a loved one and we guide them through the donation process to donate a loved one’s organs. It’s an emotional support for the family. It’s amazing work.”
According to an April 14 press release from NJ Sharing Network, more than 120,000 people are awaiting transplants and 22 people die each day while waiting. One organ donor can save eight lives and one tissue donor can restore health to more than 75 people. In New Jersey, there are more than 4,000 people on the waiting list, with 286 in Union County, and one person here dies every three days while waiting for a donation.
Creel has been with Novartis Pharmaceuticals for more than 10 years, according to the release. Prior to being appointed director of transplant marketing, he served as director of strategy and operations in the critical care business unit; area sales manager in the multiple sclerosis business unit; and associate marketing director for the multiple sclerosis, neuroscience and cardiovascular business units. Prior to working for Novartis, he was director of marketing at Pfizer.
“John brings a track record of driving performance in the highly specialized disease area of transplantation,” Joe Roth, president and CEO of NJ Sharing Network said in the press release. “He is a motivated and passionate leader who brings years of expertise to our leadership team. We are fortunate to have him join our board.”