For the third consecutive year, West Virginia University Hospitals, in conjunction with the Center for Organ Recovery and Education, received a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Medal of Honor for increasing organ donation rates.

The medal was presented in October at the annual National Learning Congress on Organ Donation and Transplantation in Dallas.

WVUH was one of only three hospitals in West Virginia to exceed the national goal of having a 75 percent organ donation consent rate during a 12-month period. In fact, for 2008, the organ donation consent rate at WVUH was 91 percent.

“Our success in organ donation can be attributed to the WVUH multidisciplinary approach; the faculty, staff and leadership who advocate for donation; and our partnership with CORE,” Hilary Hamric, R.N., WVUH pediatric trauma coordinator, said.

WVUH works closely with CORE to promote donation, education and research for the purpose of saving and improving the quality of life through organ, tissue and corneal transplantation.

“CORE is very proud of WVUH for earning this honor,” CORE President and CEO Susan Stuart said. “We work collaboratively to save the lives of hundreds of West Virginians awaiting a transplant.”

More than 104,000 patients in the United States await organ transplants, and each day, patients die while waiting for a donor.

“While everyone knows that organ donation saves lives, many may not realize its impact on the families of donors,” said Hamric, who is also the WVUH CORE liaison. “It has been eye opening to see the healing that donation gives to families during their grieving process.”

The presentation of medals was made in association with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Breakthrough Collaborative. The Collaborative challenges hospitals and organ procurement organizations to turn their best practices into common practices. The combined efforts spurred the largest increase of organ donation rates in 10 years.


sb/asj: 11-02-09

For More Information: Angela Jones, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087