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‘Donate Life’ to honor UHS employees

April 30, 2018

Every year in May, the Center for Donation & Transplant (CDT) hosts an educational seminar day followed by a celebratory dinner at which outstanding staff are recognized for their contributions to organ donation. Two awards are presented during the evening.

The “Donate Life Healthcare Champions of the Year Team Award” is given in recognition of outstanding efforts by a group of staff to donors, donor families, CDT and UHS. This year the teams from the Intensive Care Unit at UHS Wilson Medical Center and the UHS Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) were both nominated by their peers and the staff at CDT. They will be recognized at the dinner on May 14.

The second award presented is the “Lyn LaBarre Donate Life Healthcare Champion of the Year Award.” This award is given in recognition of outstanding efforts in the field of donation by an individual. This year, three nurses from UHS were nominated by their peers and the staff at CDT to recognize their tireless efforts to provide high-quality care to the patient and comfort to their families. Matthew Smith, RN, nurse manager of UHS Wilson; Emily Dorval, PhD, RN, MBA, NE-BC, nurse manager of CVICU; and Danielle Caviness RN, ICU/SSU, will all be recognized at the dinner on May 14.

We congratulate them all for their compassion, outstanding efforts, care of the patients and families, and for making the gift of life a reality for many people on the transplant waiting lists.

April marks the 15th annual National Donate Life Month, a celebration commemorating those who have given the gift of life through organ, eye and tissue donation. UHS is partnering with the Center for Donation & Transplant and the Central New York Eye and Tissue Bank, to observe National Donate Life month by spreading awareness within our organization and community.

As we round out the month of recognition, celebration, and trying to raise awareness, it is important to remember that organ, tissue, and eye donation are not just about the recipients. The process of donation is, first and foremost, about helping families who are grieving the loss of a loved one, supporting those families, and providing them with an opportunity to do something positive at a time when so much has gone wrong in their lives.

The staff at UHS is committed to supporting and nurturing these grief stricken families. The dedication, caring and teamwork of the Practitioners, Nursing staff, Respiratory Therapists, Pathology Department staff, Switch Board Operators, and ancillary testing departments all working together make it possible for us to fulfill the gift of life for these families and make donation possible.

In 2017 and 2018 UHSH, through the dedicated work of our staff, has made possible; 50 tissue donations, 42 eye donations, 14 placental donations and 9 organ donors which led to 25 life-saving organ transplants. This is an incredible number of life enhancing and life-saving donations.