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Published:  December 13, 2010

St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital Receives National Award For Performance In Organ Donation

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently awarded St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital (SLEH) a bronze National Medal of Honor for its work in saving and enhancing lives through organ and tissue donation and recovery.  SLEH was one of only 310 hospitals nationwide to receive the distinction for outstanding leadership and commitment to organ donors, donor families and nearly 110,000 patients waiting on a second chance at life.

The winners represent hospitals with six or more potential organ donors during the 18-month award period ending in March 2010, who sustained a donation rate of 75 percent or higher from among eligible donors for the award period.  The percentage reflects the rate at which potential donors at the time of death actually become lifesaving donors. 

“St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital is honored to receive this national recognition.  We are proud of our entire team as organ donation touches so many lives, giving patients a second chance,” said Margaret M. Van Bree, DrPH, Chief Executive Officer, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, and Senior Vice President, St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System.

The awards are a result of successful partnerships between LifeGift and local hospitals that began with the National Organ Donation and Transplantation Breakthrough Collaborative, an initiative launched by DHHS in 2003 to save thousands of lives annually by spreading best practices to that nation’s largest hospitals. The goal is to increase the availability of transplantable organs for those on waiting lists throughout the country.

“Without the support and active engagement of our hospital partners in the process, we simply would not succeed in fulfilling our mission to our donors, donor families and those waiting for lifesaving transplants,” said Sam Holtzman, president and CEO of LifeGift, the nonprofit organ procurement organization, which recovers organs and tissues for individuals needing transplants in Southeast, North and West Texas.  “We congratulate and thank all of these hospitals and their respective staffs for their outstanding performance and this unique recognition for the role they have played in saving so many lives.”


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