The prestigious Medal of Honor award is presented to hospitals and organ procurement organizations who achieve life-saving organ donation rates of 75% or more for a sustained twelve month period. For perspective, the national average donation rate in all hospitals in 2005 was 59%, up from 54% in 2004. The Medal of Honor Award is one element of the Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaboratives two highly successful national initiatives to increase organ donation rates in the nations largest hospitals, thus increasing the number of lives saved through transplantation.
"The work of these hospitals and OPOs made possible 1,200 more life-saving and life-enhancing transplants in 2005 compared to 2004," said Elizabeth M. Duke, administrator of HHS Health Resources and Services Administration, which houses the federal governments pro-donation activities. "Their achievements show that we can improve systems to boost donation rates and save more lives in the future."
LifeSource, the non-profit organization responsible for managing organ donation activities in the Upper Midwest, partners with hospitals and transplant centers like Sioux Valley Hospital to provide the bridge between the loss of life and the gift of life. In 2005, 181 people in the region generously extended the gift of life to more than 600 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Twelve of more than 200 hospitals in the LifeSource region received this prominent national award.
Susan Gunderson, Chief Executive Officer at LifeSource, commented "We are thrilled that so many of our hospitals received this prestigious award. The steadfast support and dedication of our hospitals is truly remarkable, and we are proud to partner with so many organizations that are exceptionally committed to saving lives through donation and transplantation."
Becky Nelson, President of Sioux Valley Hospital USD Medical Center, added, "The staff at
Dedicated hospital staff is vitally important in the life-saving work of organ donation, as are the generous and noble families who give the gift of life. Individuals are also encouraged to talk with their loved ones about their wishes.
Organ donation facts from LifeSource (www.organdonation.org):
- Over 93,000 people in the
are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, including more than 2,200 in United States Minnesota
- Each day 100 names are added to the national transplant waiting list and, sadly, 17 people die simply because not enough people say yes to donation
- On average, about 74 people in the
receive an organ transplant each day. United States
- One person can save or enhance up to sixty lives through organ and tissue donation.
LifeSource is the non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation in the