OneLegacy, a downtown L.A.-based organ procurement organization, announced April 11 that its chief operating officer and chief information officer, Prasad Garimella, has been promoted to chief executive.
Longtime chief executive Tom Mone will assume the role of vice president and chief external affairs officer of foundation operations, overseeing the OneLegacy Foundation and community investments, among other duties.
OneLegacy is a nonprofit founded in 1977 at the dawn of the organ transplant era. Initially it was one of two organ procurement nonprofits serving Southern California, but when a rival service run out of UCLA Medical Center shuttered in the 1990s, OneLegacy became the sole organ, eye and tissue donation and procurement service for seven counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern. It now provides the organ donors for more than 200 hospitals and 10 transplant centers that have recipient patients awaiting organ donations.
Garimella, a physician and veteran executive in the organ donation sector, joined OneLegacy 15 years ago, eventually rising to the posts of chief operating officer and chief information officer, reporting directly to Mone. Together, the pair helped OneLegacy double organ donations and triple tissue donation.
“Prasad was a natural choice to succeed Tom as the next CEO of OneLegacy as their work together led to continuous innovation while prioritizing empathy and dedication to waiting transplant recipients,” William Chertok, chair of the OneLegacy board, said in the announcement. “This seamless transition will strengthen relationships with our hospital partners and communities while increasing our commitment to innovation, and service to families and transplant partners, ultimately allowing us to connect more recipients with life-saving organs.”
Garimella cited in the announcement OneLegacy’s record in research and innovation, as well as its work with local community organizations to expand the roster of organ donors. Then he laid out his goals as the new chief executive.
“As we look to the future, there is still work to be done in connecting with communities of color, increasing the number of registered donors and working with hospitals to improve the number of organs that are viable for transplantation,” Garimella said in the announcement.
One of Garimella’s first tasks as OneLegacy’s new chief executive will be to oversee the transition to a new and expanded headquarters and organ procurement center in 148,000 square feet of space in Azusa. The transition is expected to wrap up by Sept. 1.