This 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
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