NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ — A Morristown dietitian with a commitment to spreading the life-saving message of organ and tissue donation has joined the NJ Sharing Network Foundation Board of Trustees.
Laura Coti Garrett, MS, RD, founder of Realtime Nutrition, Inc., said the simple decision to check “yes” to organ and tissue donation when she renewed her driver’s license a decade ago was the beginning of her journey to explore what it means to be an organ and tissue donor.
“The more I learned the more I felt a calling to share my views about how organ and tissue donation saves lives,” she said.
Coti Garrett said her decision to register as an organ and tissue donor prompted her and her family to have an important discussion about end-of-life issues.
“After I checked ‘yes’ on my license I wanted to make sure my family understood my wish that my body be used in a positive way if possible,” she said.
Coti Garrett said she has since met many organ and tissue recipients whose transplants have given them a second chance at life.
“I see how organ and tissue donation saves lives. So many people in our state are alive today because of someone else’s generosity,” she said. “And I also see how donation can help families whose loved ones become donors. Many of them see something good come from a tragedy.”
Coti Garrett is a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator with more than 25 years of experience in the field of nutrition. She specializes in health and wellness, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. She also is the founder of Realtime Nutrition Inc., a food marketing, communications and consulting company that is a resource for companies that need nutrition experts to support their products.
Coti Garrett is also a member of the American Dietetic Association and American Diabetes Educators. She currently chairs the Sponsor/Exhibition Committee for the New Jersey Diabetic Association.
Elisse Glennon, Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of NJ Sharing Network and Executive Director of the Foundation, said Coti Garrett’s experience in health care will be an asset to the Board.
“Laura brings a unique perspective on health care and a special passion to help others that will be valuable to our mission of saving and enhancing lives through organ and tissue donation,” she said.
As a Board member, Coti Garrett will be a regular columnist for NJ Sharing Network’s Circle of Life magazine to share health and wellness information for families.
Coti Garrett also volunteers in the Cooking Studio at Hackensack University Medical Center, where she cooks meals that promote wellness and educate patients, families and members of the community about healthy eating. She recently wrote a children’s book, “Busy Mornings,” that focuses on a child and how her family’s busy schedule does not compromise nutrition goals.
Hypertension and diabetes often lead to diseases that affect vital organs and create the need for a transplant. It is important for everyone, especially those waiting for a transplant or transplant recipients, to work with their health care professional to manage their risk factors for heart and blood vessel disease. Managing high blood pressure and cholesterol while maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle are keys to managing these risk factors.
“Throughout my career I have focused on healthy living and wellness, and working with NJ Sharing Network to promote organ and tissue donation is another way to promote healthy living and save lives,” Coti Garrett said.
About NJ Sharing Network
NJ Sharing Network is a non-profit, federally designated organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue for New Jersey residents in need of life-saving transplants. NJ Sharing Network partners with Donate Life America, a not-for-profit national alliance that drives communities to increase their numbers of registered donors. NJ Sharing Network honors those who gave, pays tribute to those who received, offers hope to those who continue to wait, and remembers the lives lost while waiting...for the gift of life.
To learn more, get involved, and register as an organ and tissue donor, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org.
About the NJ Sharing Network Foundation
The NJ Sharing Network Foundation is committed to increasing the number of lives saved through education, research, donor family support and public awareness about the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Contributions made to the NJ Sharing Network Foundation empower the organization’s efforts and bring us a step closer to providing the greatest gift of all: life.