UCH, Penrose, McKee & Avista Adventist honored for facilitating gift of life

September 16, 2016

The University of Colorado Hospital, Penrose Hospital, McKee Medical Center and Avista Adventist Hospital have been recognized with Ending the Wait awards for their outstanding achievements in facilitating the gift of life through organ and tissue donation in Colorado. The awards, now in their eighth year, are presented annually by Donor Alliance, the federally-designated organ procurement organization serving Colorado, and the Colorado Hospital Association (CHA).

The organizations created the awards to recognize the commitment of Colorado hospitals, medical centers and healthcare professionals to saving lives through organ and tissue donation. The selections are based on hospital size, trauma center designation, total number of donors and organs transplanted and are awarded annually to hospitals that demonstrate extraordinary efforts in organ and tissue donation.

Last year, organ donors from Penrose Hospital donated more than four organs per donor, which resulted in 30 lives saved through organ transplantation in 2015. University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) has long been a leader in organ and tissue donation and transplantation. UCH led the way in tissue donation for a facility of its size with 96 tissue donors in 2015, a 48 percent increase over the previous year. McKee Medical Center is being honored for its hand in helping 22 tissue donors fulfill their wishes to help others. Avista Adventist Hospital also earned recognition for its dedication to fulfilling family wishes surrounding organ and tissue donation.

“These exemplary Colorado hospitals provide a profound service to our community by helping to advance our mission of saving lives through organ and tissue donation.” said Sue Dunn, president and CEO of Donor Alliance. “We are honored to partner with and publicly recognize the achievements of these healthcare organizations who are helping to save and improve the lives of countless individuals across the state through their tireless efforts.

Each donor has the potential to save up to eight lives through organ donation and save and heal more than 50 through the gift of tissue donation. Last year, 428 people received lifesaving organ transplants thanks to 134 selfless organ donors from our area. A record 1,674 tissue donors provided healing tissue to thousands in need. Also, at the close of 2015, nearly 68 percent of Colorado’s licensed drivers and ID card holders had joined the Donate Life Colorado Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. However, there are still currently nearly 2,700 people in Colorado waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, so Donor Alliance and CHA know their efforts are not complete

“The coordinated efforts of Donor Alliance and Colorado hospitals result in saved and improved lives for countless patients and their families,” said Steven J. Summer, president and CEO of the Colorado Hospital Association. “CHA is proud to once again partner with Donor Alliance to recognize those hospital leaders and clinicians whose actions improve the well-being of our patients and communities.

For more information about organ and tissue donation, please visit DonorAlliance.org. To register to be an organ and tissue donor, please visit DonateLifeColorado.org or call 303-329-4747 for more information.

About the Colorado Hospital Association

The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) represents more than 100 member hospitals and health systems throughout Colorado. CHA partners with its members to work towards health reform, clinical excellence and performance improvement, and provides advocacy and representation at the state and federal level. Colorado hospitals and health systems are committed to providing coverage and access to safe, high-quality and affordable health care. In addition, Colorado hospitals have a tremendous impact on the state’s economic stability and growth, contributing to nearly every community across the state with 75,000 employees statewide. For more information, visit www.cha.com.

About Donor Alliance

Donor Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. As the organ and tissue procurement agency for Colorado and most of Wyoming, Donor Alliance serves more than 5.8 million residents and more than 100 hospitals.

Donor Alliance adheres to the highest medical and ethical standards: respectfully working with the families of organ and tissue donors, maintaining partnerships with hospitals and educating residents on the life-saving benefits of donation and inspiring them to sign up on the state’s donor registry. Colorado and Wyoming boast some of the highest rates of donor registration in the country, which directly translates to more lives saved and healed through organ and tissue transplantation. Donor Alliance is one of 58 federally designated organizations of its kind in the United States. For more information visit DonorAlliance.org or the Donate Life Colorado or Donate Life Wyoming Facebook pages.