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St. Michael’s Hospital honored for organ, tissue donation

By Patrick Lynn

Ascension St. Michael’s Hospital has been honored with a special award recognizing its tissue donation efforts.

St. Michael’s is one of 17 hospitals being honored by the University of Wisconsin Organ and Tissue Donation (UW OTD) for their ongoing commitment to saving and improving lives through organ and tissue donation.

The hospital won an Excellence in Tissue Donation Award—something given to partner hospitals that achieve at least a 60 percent consent rate. The percentage measures the collaborative work between the hospital staff and tissue bank in coordinating communication around tissue consent conversations.

“A successful organ donation program is closely aligned with our value of Reverence within Ascension,” said Crystal Kirschling, vice president of Patient Care Services and St. Michael’s chief administrative officer. “Honoring patient’s wishes and respecting the value of every life, takes a team of dedicated individuals from a variety of patient care areas in collaboration with our spiritual services team.”

Sandra Holmes, an RN who is the nursing supervisor and organ donation liaison for the hospital, said St. Michael’s “appropriately screened and referred 100 percent” of patients eligible for tissue and organ donation.

“Through the help of our tissue donor heroes, we were able to help 230 lives through the gifts of transplanted tissue which have helped to improve mobility, clarity of sight and pain relief,” Holmes said.

Holmes pointed to staff and clinicians, “especially those in the Emergency Department, Intensive and Progressive Care Unit and 5-East medical/surgical/pediatric floor,” for their hard work and professionalism.

The UW OTD Award winners were honored during a May ceremony in Wisconsin Dells.

“The clinical management of donors, coupled with a hospital’s compassionate support of donor families, is a critical component to saving lives through the gift of organ donation and transplantation,” said Michael Anderson, executive director of UW OTD. “We honor these hospitals and their incredible physicians and nursing teams for working so hard to help ensure that those who are waiting for a transplant will get a second chance at life.”

More information on organ, tissue and eye donation in Wisconsin can be found at DonateLifeWisconsin.org or at a Wisconsin DMV Service Center.