Five Colorado Hospitals and Donor Alliance Recognized by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for High Organ Donation Rates

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services releases list of winning hospitals having high organ donation rates throughout the U.S.

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the list of hospitals throughout the country that achieved high organ donation conversion rates over an 18-month period. Five Colorado hospitals were among those named for excellence in organ donation. HHS awarded Medals of Honor in three categories – Gold, Silver and Bronze – to hospitals with a minimum of six potential organ donors over 12 consecutive months, during a time span of eighteen months.

Additionally Donor Alliance, the federally-designated, non-profit organ procurement organization and an American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) accredited tissue bank serving Colorado and most of Wyoming, was awarded a first time silver medal for exceeding two national goals. The organization achieved an organ donation rate of over 77 percent, exceeding the national target of 75 percent and successfully implemented a Donation after Cardiac Death (DCD) program resulting in at least 10 percent of donations coming from DCD donors. This occurred during the 12-month measurement period from October 1, 2008 through March 31, 2010.

The awards are a result of successful partnerships between Donor Alliance and local hospitals that began with the National Organ Donation and Transplantation Breakthrough Collaborative, an initiative launched by HHS in 2003 to save thousands of lives annually by spreading best practices to the nation's largest hospitals. The intent is to increase the availability of transplantable organs for those on waiting lists throughout the country.

Winning hospitals included Denver Health Medical Center, who received a Bronze medal, Exempla Lutheran Medical Center who achieved Silver medal status, St. Anthony Central Hospital who moved from a Bronze medal in 2009 to Silver this year, St. Mary’s Medical Center - Grand Junction, who received a Silver medal and the University of Colorado Hospital who also achieved a Silver medal status as well. Both Exempla Lutheran Medical Center and University of Colorado Hospital were new medal winners in 2010.

“We are encouraged to see such high level of achievement in these five hospitals, all of which have demonstrated a commitment to excellence and dedication to performance to attain the Medal of Honor award,” said Sue Dunn, president and CEO of Donor Alliance. “Donor Alliance places great importance in our partnerships with these hospitals and without our mutual pledge to improve donation rates and processes for those who wait, success would not be possible.”

In Donor Alliance’s two-state service area, the organ donation rate for 2009 was 78 percent, with 115 organ donors recovered and 368 organs transplanted – a three percent increase over 2008. The organ donation rate refers to the number of organ donors recovered as a percentage of all eligible potential donors.

Medals are awarded to hospitals that meet or exceed from one to three national goals during a 12-month measurement period from October 1, 2008 through March 31, 2010; an organ donation rate of 75 percent or more; greater than 3.75 organs transplanted per donor; and at least 10 percent of all donors recovered by Donation after Cardiac Death (DCD). *Data reported for the January 1, 2009 – December 31, 2009 calendar year. Awards were given based on a 12-month measurement period between October 1, 2008 – March 31, 2010.

Award winning hospital information is as follows:
Denver Health Medical Center; 90% Donation Rate; 9 Organ Donors; Bronze Medal                            

Exempla Lutheran Medical Center; 67% Donation Rate; 2 Organ Donors; Silver Medal                            

St. Anthony Central Hospital; 85% Donation Rate; 11 Organ Donors; Silver Medal                

St. Mary’s Medical Center (Grand Junction); 92% Donation Rate; 12 Organ Donors; Silver Medal

University of Colorado Hospital; 100% Donation Rate; 4 Organ Donors; Silver Medal

Award Descriptions:
Gold:         Collaborative Conversion Rate ≥ 75%, Organs Transplanted Per Donor (OTPD) ≥ 3.75, Percentage of Donors Recovered via Donation After Cardiac Death (DCD) ≥ 10% in a 12-month time period

Silver:         Collaborative Conversion Rate ≥ 75%, AND OTPD ≥ 3.75, or Percent DCD ≥ 10 %

Bronze:         Collaborative Conversion Rate ≥ 75%, BUT OTPD < 3.75 AND Percent DCD < 10%

About Donor Alliance
Donor Alliance is the federally-designated, non-profit organ procurement organization and an American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) accredited tissue bank serving Colorado and most of Wyoming. As a recognized leader in facilitating the donation and recovery of transplantable organs and tissues, Donor Alliance’s mission is to save lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. To achieve this mission, Donor Alliance employs an effective family approach and recovery programs in more than 100 hospitals. Donor Alliance also inspires the public to register as organ and tissue donors through community partnerships, public outreach and education campaigns throughout its donation service area.

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Jennifer Nuhfer
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