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Baystate Transplant Services Program receives national awards

SPRINGFIELD -- Baystate Medical Center has been nationally recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for its success in increasing the number of organs available for transplantation. Baystate Medical Center, together with LifeChoice Donor Services, a federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO), received the silver Medal of Honor from the Department of Health and Human Services for achieving and sustaining national goals for donation, including a donor conversion rate of 75 percent or more of eligible donors at Baystate. "These hospitals have made incredible progress in increasing the number of organs available for transplantation," said Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N., administrator of HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which leads federal efforts to increase organ and tissue donation. "Their efforts reflect the heights Americans can reach when they work together toward a common goal." Each of the 428 winning hospitals had eight or more eligible organ donors during the 22-month award period ending in April 2009. The awards were presented to the hospitals based on their performance in meeting or exceeding several goals established by HHS. Baystate Medical Center received the Silver 1 Medal of Honor for achieved Conversion Rate and Donation after Cardiac Death (DCD). Hospitals such as Baystate receiving the Medal of Honor achieved a conversion rate of (or exceeding) 75 percent for a one year period, and had at least 10 percent of actual donors that were donors after cardiac death. "We celebrate Baystate Medical Center and LifeChoice Donor Services collaboration of best practices to integrate organ donation into Baystate's end-of-life care. The hospital has embraced bereavement care for families experiencing a death, and has seen firsthand donation as an extension of this bereavement care," Shelly Fox, hospital development specialist, LifeChoice Donor Services, said. Baystate Medical Center's Transplant Services program was also honored by HHS with an award representing a "20 percent or greater increase in the total number of organ transplants" performed during the award period. "This award celebrates the extraordinary contributions of the doctors, nurses and other staff in Transplant Services at Baystate Medical Center for their collective contributions to saving and improving lives through organ transplantation," Deb Savaria, executive director, LifeChoice Donor Services, said. There are currently over 140 people on Baystate Medical Center's transplant list waiting for a life-enhancing new kidney for transplant. And there are well over 1,600 children and adult patients waiting for a kidney from a deceased donor in Massachusetts. Nationally, 79,000 patients are waiting for a kidney transplant with hundreds more added each month, and some 12 of them die daily while waiting. Living or deceased donor renal transplant is offered as treatment of End-Stage Renal Disease.

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