Hutchinson Regional Medical Center (HRMC) is the recipient of awards from two prestigious national organizations that deal with eye and organ donations.
The Midwest Transplant Network (MTN) has awarded Hutchinson Regional Medical Center the “Excellence in Donation Award” for their outstanding performance in the area of organ and tissue donations during 2014. Also, Saving Sight, one of the largest eye banks in the nation, awarded HRMC the “Excellence in Eye Donation Award” in recognition of the hospital’s successful efforts in promoting cornea donation.
The awards were made as part of National Donate Life Month, which was observed in April.
MTN was established in 1975 to promote organ and tissue donations throughout Kansas and western Missouri and, for the past 40 years, has worked closely with HRMC to achieve its goal of assisting patients who wish to donate organs and tissue at the end of life.
According to MTN officials, donations from two organ donors in 2014 resulted in life-saving transplants for five recipients. Also, HRMC successfully completed 12 tissue donations, each of which may have benefited as many as 50 people.
In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) within the Department of Health and Human Services in the nation’s capital lauded HRMC for their outstanding record in assisting organ donors.
Rachelle Bryan, RN, Patient Care Services Supervisor, accepted the award on behalf of HRMC at a meeting that was held on May 14 in Westwood, Kansas.
In presenting the Excellence in Eye Donation Award, officials with Saving Sight recognized HRMC for their successful efforts during the past year in assisting 23 patients, who at the end of life, chose to donate their eyes for transplant.
Linda Conyac, Interim Partner Relations Coordinator for Saving Sight, said the cornea donations have made a significant impact in assisting individuals suffering from severe vision loss.
“Thanks to the generosity of eye donors, their families and supportive hospital staff like those at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, Saving Sight was able to provide donated eye tissue for 2,985 corneal transplants in 2014, an average of eight per day,” Conyac said.
Conyac said interested parties can show their support for donation by signing up for the Kansas Donor Registry online at (www.donatelifekansas.com) or at the local Department of Motor Vehicles office, and then speaking with family and friends about the decision. Kansans can obtain additional information on the Saving Sight and Donate Life websites, or host a donor registration drive in their communities.
Officials with Saving Sight presented the award to officials at HRMC in a ceremony held May 12 at the hospital.
Kevin J. Miller, F.A.C.H.E., President and CEO of Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System, said HRMC has, throughout its history, offered a helping hand to those who wish to donate organs, tissues and eyes.
“The need for organ, tissue and eye donations has never been greater,” Miller said. “Nearly 124,000 people in the nation are waiting for an organ transplant, and 150 are added to the list each day.”
“Tragically, approximately 21 people in the nation pass on each day because the organs they need are not available,” Miller continued. “Still, great strides are being made as nearly 30,000 organ transplants were completed across the nation in 2014 thanks to 14,000 donors. During last year, more than one million tissue transplants were performed along with 48,000 cornea transplants.”
Those individuals desiring additional information on organ and tissue donations or wanting to complete the required authorization should log on to the Midwest Transplant Network at www.mwtn.org.
Hutchinson Regional Medical Center is an affiliate of Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System. Other affiliates are Ray E. Dillon Living Center, Hospice and Homecare of Reno County, Horizons Mental Health Center, Health-E-Quip, and Hutchinson Regional Medical Foundation.