For the second consecutive year, The University of Toledo Medical Center has been recognized for its success in increasing the number of organs available for transplantation.
Members of the UT team, including Kristen Calkins, registered nurse and director of trauma services, and Cindy Schneider, registered nurse and transplant administrator, joined Mark Chastang, UTMC vice president and executive director, and Norma Tomlinson, UTMC associate vice president and associate executive director, in accepting Silver Medals of Honor during a recent operational leadership team meeting on Health Science Campus.
The medals, given by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recognize UT’s success in increasing the number of organs available for transplant.
UT Medical Center was recognized for having eight or more eligible organ donors during a 22-month award period ending in April and for meeting one of three additional criteria: improving donation rates, increasing the number of organs donated per individual donor to 3.75 or higher, and expanding clinical processes for recovering organs.
“As a transplant center, we strive to be good leaders in the area of organ donation,” Tomlinson said. “It’s a compilation of teamwork from everyone in the program — from our staff, to our physicians, to organizations such as Life Connection — working together at a time that is very difficult for donors’ families.”
UTMC, she continued, has made a commitment toward best practices in organ donation by taking part in state and national collaboratives on organ donation and applying those best practices. The medical center was the first medical facility in greater Toledo to enact policy and procedure based on cardiac death criteria.
Carolyn Ruge, chief operating officer of Life Connection of Ohio, which works closely with local organ procurement and transplantation programs, was on hand when UT’s team received the medals.
“Organ donation is an important part of the end-of-life process,” Ruge said. “There are roughly 25 organ donors each year in northwest Ohio. People are usually surprised and think the number should be much higher. It could be if discussion about organ donation and peoples’ wishes were addressed at times other than those of great loss.”
Ohio citizens can get information about donation and enter the state’s organ donor registry at www.donatelifeohio.org.