CTDN Sets Record for Tissue Donation -- 83,000 Lives Saved or Improved Through Achievement

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California Transplant Donor Network, third largest nonprofit in the country devoted to saving and improving lives through donation, had more than 2,000 tissue donors in 2013, meaning corneas for the sight impaired and skin for burn victims, among others. Also recovered more than 900 organs for transplantation.

"We can offer hope to those waiting for a transplant,” Cindy Siljestrom, Chief Executive Officer for the California Transplant Donor Network.

California Transplant Donor Network completed its fourth year as a tissue recovery agency with a new high mark of 2,006 eye and tissue donors in 2013, helping to save and improve an estimated 83,000 lives.

Established for more than a quarter century as an organ recovery organization in Northern and Central California and Northern Nevada, the California Transplant Donor Network (CTDN) also successfully worked with 281 organ donors and their families in 2013, saving lives with 920 organs transplanted.

CTDN continued its robust program of aiding researchers focused on projects to improve public health and the transplantation process. In 2013, through the compassion of donor families, about 250 additional organs were made available for medical education research. About three-quarters of families asked agreed to participate in research.

“Our work is only possible with the cooperation of the more than 170 hospitals, dozens of coroners’ offices and hundreds of funeral homes as well four transplant centers which partner with us to refer possible donors. Because of them, and a CTDN staff committed to maximize every donation opportunity, we can offer hope to those waiting for a transplant,” Cindy Siljestrom, Chief Executive Officer for the California Transplant Donor Network.

The CTDN Operations Center – where calls to refer potential organ and tissue donors are first received – logged more than 500,000 calls in 2013, reaching a milestone only a year after it became fully operational.

Working in two states and serving 13 million people, CTDN pursues a mandate to educate the public about organ and tissue donation, in addition to supporting donor families and arranging for the recovery and placement of organs and tissues. CTDN is the third largest organ procurement organization in the country based on population in its service area.

CTDN set a goal to increase the number of people registered as donors in that area by 5 percent in 2013. Instead, the numbers of people who have said “Yes” to donation at the DMV in the CTDN service area increased by 13 percent in 2013, meaning 3.9 million people have now registered as donors.

CTDN’s effort continue to focus on the needs of those who are waiting for an organ transplant --more than 23,000 in California and Nevada-- as well as those whose lives will be improved with a tissue donation, such as corneas to restore someone’s sight.

Each of the nearly 300 people at CTDN work daily to provide expertise and exceptional service to the hospitals, coroners, funeral homes and transplant centers in support of families. Their work honors the gifts donors and their families place in our care.

About the California Transplant Donor Network

The California Transplant Donor Network saves and improves lives by facilitating organ and tissue donation for transplantation. The California Transplant Donor Network partners with 170 hospitals in 41 Northern and Central California and Northern Nevada counties to offer the option of organ and tissue donation to families whose loved ones have died, coordinates deceased organ and tissue recovery and placement to waiting transplant recipients. Through its public education efforts, the hope that every resident will chose to become a donor is possible. The California Transplant Donor Network is federally designated as the region’s organ recovery organization. For information, call 888-570-9400 or visit http://www.ctdn.org.

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