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St. Joseph receives donation honor

The hospital has a high success rate with its stewardship of organs and tissue.

November 17, 2010|By Gretchen Meier,

Providence St. Joseph Medical Center was honored by the Health Resources and Services Administration for its commitment to organ and tissue donation earlier this month.

In order to qualify for its silver medal, the Burbank hospital was able to successfully identify and use 75% of those who might have been eligible to donate organs or tissue.

Providence also was able to achieve a 10% donation success rate after circulatory death.

"Stewardship is one of our core values at Saint Joseph," said Kathy Rich, a registered nurse and chairwoman of the Organ Donation Committee at Providence. "The stewardship of organs and tissue at the end of life and are no longer of use can be used to enhance or give new life where there may not have been a chance before."


Organs, such as hearts, lungs, livers and kidneys, and tissues, such as corneas or skin, give patients the opportunity not only to survive, but thrive when it may not have previously been possible, officials said.

The award shows there's awareness and cooperation by all staff at the hospital since OneLegacy, the agency that facilitates the donations, needs to be notified in a timely manner, Rich said.

"Donations need to have a certain turnaround time in order to be viable," she said.

The cause is particularly close to Rich, who also accepted the award at a ceremony in Texas. Fifteen years ago, she received a cervical fusion in the back of her neck thanks to an organ donation.

Providence Saint Joseph is one of 15 hospitals in California to earn the silver medal.

Only eight hospitals in the country qualified for the gold medal, which also required 3.75 organs donated per donator.

"The biggest reason we have this award is to motivate hospitals to make strides in organ donation," said David Bowman, spokesman for the Health Resources and Services Administration, adding that "109,000 people are on the organ donation list and many won't have the opportunity to receive what they need.

"Every effort that can be made could be a lifesaving one."

Hospitals were considered for the award based on the data they submitted.

Michael Hunn was also recently named senior vice president and chief executive of Providence Health & Services' California region, which includes Providence Saint Joseph in Burbank.

"Everyone is really pleased with his appointment," said Patricia Aidem, a spokeswoman for the Burbank hospital. "He has been with the system for a while, comes with an amazing amount of experience and is very dedicated."

Hunn, 55, was previously the chief executive of Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Torrance, which is one of five centers in his new region.

The change is not likely to affect daily operation of the hospital as each medical center has its own chief executive, Aidem said.

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