boulder community health donor alliance ending the wait award 2018This September, Boulder Community Health was one of five recipients of the 2018 Ending the Wait award for its exceptional success in providing tissue donation in Colorado. Presented by Donor Alliance and the Colorado Hospital Association, the award, which is now in its tenth year, recognizes Colorado hospitals, medical centers, and health care professionals who help save lives through organ and tissue donation.

At BCH, tissue and organ donation outreach is handled with compassion and respect to the patients and their families. For eye and tissue donation, clinical team leads for the intensive care unit and emergency departments, as well as Chaplains, are trained by Donor Alliance to become “designated requestors” for eye and tissue donation. They do this by approaching families after the death of a patient and explaining the opportunity they have to donate eye and tissue if eligibility is met.

Organ donation, on the other hand, is handled differently than eye and tissue donation. When certain triggers are met by a patient, ICU nurses contact Donor Alliance who work with the ICU nurses, BCH physicians and families to determine the patient’s eligibility and begin the donation process.

In Colorado, there are plenty of reasons give the “gift of life” with organ and tissue donation. “Nearly 2,500 people in Colorado are waiting on a lifesaving transplant and thousands more are waiting for tissue grafts. The leadership and organizational commitment of these hospitals had and continues to have an impact on ending their wait,” said Sue Dunn, president and CEO of Donor Alliance in a recent press release.

BCH was awarded for its tissue donation in 2017 from 29 tissue donors which saved or healed more than 2,100 recipients. BCH was also recognized as having the highest rate of donation in the state, defined by eligible donors, as 21 percent of total deaths became tissue donors, compared to other hospitals that were closer to 15 percent.

Robert Vissers, MD President and CEO of Boulder Community Health accepted the award from Colorado Hospital Association CEO Steven Sumner and Donor Alliance COO Jennifer Prinz (pictured above).

Click here to read an account of one Boulder resident’s story of tissue donation to BCH.

For more information on registering to become a donor, please visit donatelifecolorado.org.