Donor Alliance in the Community
We’re so proud to work with each and every one of our staff members here at Donor Alliance. In our Staff Spotlight, we like to take a minute to share who we are and why we work at Donor Alliance. In this month’s staff spotlight, meet Diana Westcott, an Organ Recovery Coordinator! In that role, Diana helps manage heroic donors and coordinates solid organs for transplant.
This Month’s Staff Spotlight is on Diana Westcott:
Name: Diana Westcott
Position: Organ Recovery Coordinator
Years at Donor Alliance: 5 years
Tell us a little about your role with Donor Alliance: My role is to facilitate organ donation through the medical management of donors as well as the coordination of solid organs for transplant. As a nurse, I respond to the hospital when the decision to donate has been made and intervene to maximize organ donation. Some of my job roles include collection of information about the patient, administration of medications, performing bronchoscopy and vent management to optimize organ function. I allocate solid organs while collaborating with teams across the country about their placement and transportation. Throughout the case, I work with families and support their needs while at the hospital. In addition, I’m trusted to hemoydynamicly maintain and care of the donor during transport and in the operating room setting.
What made you want to work for Donor Alliance? As a new graduate nurse in New York, I frequently cared for organ donor patients. I learned to enjoy the challenge of their individual medical conditions, was intrigued by the process and felt a great connection to the donor families. A year into my nursing career, I became a donor advocate at my hospital and built friendships with the organ procurement staff. I took off to travel as a nurse but after a few years, I sought community, more autonomy and researched the Organ Procurement Coordinator role. Working with organ donors and their families brings me immense joy and gratitude for their selflessness. This work has been the greatest challenge and reward in my professional career.
What do you enjoy most about your role/what’s the most rewarding aspect of your role? The connections made in my role are the most rewarding part of my job and the challenge is what I enjoy the most. The connections made with donor families is immensely fulfilling. These families give me perspective on what the gift of life is and how caring and kind people truly are. Hearing stories of their loved one connects me to my mission and reminds me of my passion for the job. In addition, the connections to my teammates has been a special part of this role. The challenges of our job unite us in a unique way that has opened me up to great friendships. Although the challenges of the job are often greatly consequential and demanding, when overcoming these challenges, the gratification that comes with this mission is powerful.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun? Pursuing a master’s degree as an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner has been taking up much of my free time over the past two years but has not put a damper on fun. I’m an avid backcountry skier and member of an organization called Friends of Berthoud Pass. FOBP is a group of volunteers that educates the public on avalanche safety and awareness through free classroom sessions and the promotion of continuing avalanche education. Additionally, I enjoy mountain biking and gardening. This year I’m excited to grow almost all the ingredients to make salsa.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self? Never wish away time. Life is precious and even when going through difficult times, I try to be conscious not to wish time away anymore. Working with donors and their families has highlighted the value in each moment and has proven to me that light and growth can come from life’s most difficult struggles.