Madison, Wis. – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Organ Transplantation Breakthrough Collaborative recently recognized St. Mary’s Hospital and UW Hospital and Clinics with a National Medal of Honor for their work to improve organ donation rates in Wisconsin. The two are among 675 hospitals in the country and 13 others in Wisconsin who received this national honor.
St. Mary’s will be kicking off the local celebration on Thursday, November 18th at 1:15pm in the hospital’s atrium. The event will begin with presentation of the award, along with comments from St. Mary’s leadership and the UW Health Organ Procurement Organization (OPO). Then, from 1:30pm – 3:00pm, attendees can learn all about the benefits of organ donation, while enjoying bright orange “dot” cookies. Laptops will also be on hand allowing anyone who wants to give the gift of life to sign up on Wisconsin’ new online organ, tissue and eye donor registry at www.YesIWillWisconsin.com. The UW OPO will honor all of the medal winners at a reception in January in Madison.
To receive this HHS Medal of Honor, hospitals must achieve several standard rates, including a 75 percent donation rate. St. Mary’s had 100 percent of the people who were eligible to be an organ donor became one, serving seven donors. The UW Hospital and Clinics had a 98 percent donation rate, with 40 donors.
The news today is good, but St. Mary’s and UW Hospital and Clinics will continue to lead by example and share the real benefits of making this important decision. Just two to four percent of all people will die in a manner that allows for organ donation – so the more that register now, the more lives that can be saved. In Wisconsin, more than 1,600 people are currently on the organ waiting list out of a total of 109,000 waiting across the country. Just one organ donor can save up to eight of these lives.
Organ Donation statistics:
· In FY 2010, the UW Health OPO worked with 117 donor families, resulting in 377organs transplanted.
· Nationally, a new patient is added to the transplant waiting list every 11 minutes.
· Every day in the U.S., 19 people die waiting for their organ transplant.
· Up to eight lives can be saved by one organ donor. Corneas restore sight to the blind and thousands more can return to a healthy, active life through tissue transplantation.
· If you haven’t said yes to donation while renewing your driver’s license or state ID since March 29, 2010, go online today to legally authorize donation at: www.YesIWillWisconsin.com
· Tell your family your donation wishes, and encourage others to register online as a donor.