Three Aspirus Hospitals Honored for Organ and Tissue Donation

May 30, 2019

Aspirus Langlade Hospital (ALH), Aspirus Riverview Hospital (ARH) and Aspirus Wausau Hospital (AWH) were all honored by University of Wisconsin Organ and Tissue Donation (UW OTD) for their ongoing commitment to saving and improving lives through organ and tissue donation.

AHW received the Bronze Award of Hope and the Excellence in Tissue Donation awards. The hospital cared for seven donors and averaged 3.57 organs transplanted per donor in 2018 to earn the bronze recognition.

Additionally, Respiratory Therapist Sarah Schroeder provided education on ventilation strategies to improve lung outcomes, while ICU Nurse and Donation Liaison Laura Scheck partnered with provider teams to create a new brain death declaration policy to improve staff and physician confidence in the donation process.

ALH and ARH received the Excellence in Tissue Donation award. The award is given to Versiti partner hospitals who achieve at least a 60% consent rate. This metric measures the collaborative work between the hospital staff and tissue bank in coordinating communication around tissue consent conversations.

ALH saw a 67% tissue consent rate in 2018 with leadership from long-time liaison and Emergency Room Manager Cathy Connor. As a result, four tissue donor heroes went on to help save and improve over 300 lives.

ARH was recognized for a strong donation culture thanks to the leadership of Kim Johnson, Vice President of Patient Care & Chief Nursing Officer; Carol Metcalf, Critical Care Unit Director of Nursing; Julie Hiles, Director of Surgical Services; Paul Frigoli, Director of Emergency Services; and Jane Walczak, System Manager of Organizational Learning & Development. In 2018, the team identified 100% of patients who met clinical triggers, had a 100% appropriate tissue approach rate and a 67% tissue consent rate.

"The clinical management of donors, coupled with a hospital's compassionate support of donor families, is a critical component to saving lives through the gift of organ donation and transplantation," said Michael Anderson, executive director of UW OTD. "We honor these hospitals and their incredible physicians and nursing teams for working so hard to help ensure that those who are waiting for a transplant will get a second chance at life." 

Aspirus representatives from each hospital received the awards during a ceremony May 8 in Wisconsin Dells.

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