WVU Hospitals nationally recognized for organ donation

Medal of Honor to be granted April 2

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University Hospitals has received the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Medal of Honor for Organ Donation for the second year in a row.

The awards, coordinated by the HHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), are presented to hospitals across the country that achieve and sustain a donation rate of 75 percent or more of eligible donors. For 2008, WVUH attained a consent rate of 91.3 percent.

This year marks the first time WVUH has achieved more than 20 donors in a year, Rebecca Cougle, R.N., WVUH liaison for procurement efforts with the Center for Organ Recovery and Education, said.

”Transplant centers cannot do their work without us. We constitute the first step in the process of saving lives,” Cougle said. “Donation activity starts with the referral. It’s a great feeling to know that WVUH is part of the referral process.”

WVUH will receive its Medal of Honor at 10:30 a.m. on April 2 in Conference Rooms 3A/3B of Ruby Memorial Hospital. The event also recognizes National Donate Life Month.

Donations of organs at WVUH go first to West Virginia residents, Cougle said. If no patient in the state is waiting, they go to patients at the top of the United Network for Organ Sharing transplant list. WVUH has started the transplant process for patients in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Indiana and New York among other states.

WVUH was recognized during the Fourth National Learning Congress on Organ Donation and Transplantation in Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 23 and 24.

About organ donation:
HRSA has a set benchmark of 75 percent for organ donation consent rate. This benchmark is supported by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, United Network for Organ Sharing,, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Hospitals must show they are working toward the HRSA benchmark to be accredited.




For more information:
Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
asj: 03-23-09

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