WVU Hospitals awarded Medal of Honor for Organ Donations

Organization says more lives saved as a result of WVU’s efforts

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

The medal was presented Oct. 10, at the third annual National Learning Congress on Organ Donation and Transplantation in Nashville, Tenn.   

West Virginia University Hospitals achieved a 75 percent organ donation consent rate - one of the only hospitals in West Virginia to accomplish the national goal. 

More than 97,000 patients in the United States await organ transplants; the majority are waiting for a kidney.  Each day, patients die while awaiting organ transplants.  

“One organ donor can help save or enhance the lives of up to 50 individuals,” Rebecca Cougle, R.N., WVU Hospitals’ pediatric trauma coordinator, said.  “As nurses and doctors – we get the opportunity to save or improve lives on a daily basis.  Organ donation affords everyone this same opportunity to make a difference.”

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

The medal presentation is 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.

To learn more about organ donation initiatives at WVU Hospitals, visit www.health.wvu.edu/information/organ_donation.html.                                                

- WVU -

For more information:
Cassie Waugh, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
cw: 10-15-07

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