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Extremely high organ donation rate earns award for HSN

Hospital achieved 91% conversion rate for organ donations
Janice Beitel, director of hospital programs with the Trillium Gift of Life Network; Pam Nicholson, Trillium Gift of Life Network co-ordinator at Health Sciences North; David McNeil, executive lead for organ and tissue donations at Health Sciences North; Dr. Bhanu Nalla, medical lead, for organ and tissue donations at the hospital; and Nancy Griffin, a community advocate for organ and tissue donation, reveived two awards on behalf of Health Sciences North for its efforts to promote organ donations in the community. Photo by Jonathan Migneault.

Health Sciences North has received two awards for its advocacy and achievements in organ and tissue donation in Ontario.
The awards were presented to the hospital May 13 by Trillium Gift of Life Network, which promotes and co-ordinates organ and tissue donation and transplantation across Ontario.
Health Sciences North received the Hospital Achievement Award – Provincial Conversion Rate. Conversion rate refers to the percentage of actual organ donors achieved from the total number of potential eligible organ donors. The target conversion rate for Ontario hospitals is 67 per cent. Last year, Health Sciences North achieved a conversion rate of 91 per cent, one of the highest rates in Ontario.
The Trillium Gift of Life Network Award of Excellence is given to hospitals that meet or exceed the provincial target for conversion rates in four or more consecutive years. Health Sciences North is one of only three hospitals in Ontario to receive this award.
“We are proud to acknowledge the important contributions of our hospital partners. The success of organ and tissue donation in Ontario relies on their hard work and dedication,” said Ronnie Gavsie, president and CEO at Trillium Gift of Life Network, in a press release. “Together, we work to make sure families are given the opportunity to honour their loved one's wishes and save lives through organ and tissue donation.”

In 2015, all of the top 12 communities for organ donor registration rates in the province were located in northeastern Ontario. They were Lively, Hanmer, Garson, Val Caron, North Bay, Parry Sound, Nipissing South, Timmins Region, Nipissing North, Algoma/Rural Greater Sudbury and District, Sudbury, and Timmins. The rate of eligible registered donors in these communities ranged from 49 to 58 per cent. Currently 29 per cent of eligible people in Ontario are registered as donors.
“We are honoured to receive these awards from Trillium Gift of Life Network. It speaks to the excellent work done by our care team here at HSN, but most importantly it speaks to the generosity of the people in our community who believe in the life-saving value of organ and tissue donation,” said Dr. Bhanu Nalla, Health Sciences North’s medical lead for organ donation, in a press release.

Around 12,000 Ontarians have received a life-saving organ or tissue transplant since 2003. More than 1,600 people in Ontario are currently waiting for an organ transplant.
"Knowing that my husband was able to save five lives and impact many more through organ and tissue donation, gave meaning to his death and helped me cope with a terrible loss," said Nancy Griffin, founder of the Rich Griffin #1Saves8 Campaign. “Trillium Gift of Life Network and medical staff at HSN were very compassionate and understanding throughout the whole process. I was made to feel comfortable and all of my questions were answered very truthfully and respectfully.”