UC Irvine Medical Center is recognized for its commitment to organ donation

US Department of Health & Human Services awards the hospital a Silver Medal of Honor

December 02, 2010

UC Irvine Medical Center recently received a Silver Medal of Honor from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for its role in supporting organ and tissue donation.

UC Irvine had 28 donors and 77 organs transplanted in the highest-performing 12-month period between Oct. 1, 2008, and March 31, 2010—the most of the 10 hospitals HHS commended in the seven-county Greater Los Angeles area served by OneLegacy, the nonprofit, federally designated organ and tissue recovery agency. The medical center’s conversion rate, which represents the number of actual organ donors out of all eligible potential donors, was 82 percent.

The HHS Silver Medal is awarded to hospitals meeting two of three criteria: an organ donation conversion rate of 75 percent or higher; 3.75 or more organs donated per individual donor; and a rate of donation after cardiac death of at least 10 percent.

“We are honored that the Department of Health & Human Services has recognized UC Irvine’s commitment to organ donation,” said Terry A. Belmont, CEO of UC Irvine Medical Center. “It’s an obligation we take very seriously. There can be no higher goal than to help a family with this difficult decision to give the gift of life and donate a loved one’s organs.”

The medical center’s donor program has grown steadily since its 2005 inception, overseen by the Organ Donor Council, which reviews policies and practices and addresses legal, medical and ethical issues related to donation.

UC Irvine in October celebrated 20 organ donors—and their families—and will contribute a fresh rose representing each to OneLegacy’s Donate Life Rose Parade float. The hospital also acknowledges every organ donor and his or her family by flying a Donate Life flag at the main entrance for one week.

The 10 award-winning regional facilities working with OneLegacy accounted for 91 organ or tissue donations that resulted in 287 transplants between Oct. 1, 2008, and March 31, 2010. The numbers reflect the success of the Organ Donation/Transplantation Breakthrough Collaborative, an initiative launched by HHS in 2003 to identify and spread best practices to the nation’s largest hospitals.

“Thanks to the generosity of donor families and registered donors, our collaboration with hospitals and transplant centers, and the skill of OneLegacy’s donation professionals, we are answering the needs of the more than 109,000 people nationwide who await lifesaving transplants,” said Thomas Mone, executive vice president and CEO of OneLegacy.

About UC Irvine Medical Center: Orange County’s only university hospital, UC Irvine Medical Center offers acute- and general-care services at its new, 482,000-square-foot UC Irvine Douglas Hospital and is home to the county’s only Level I trauma center, American College of Surgeons-verified regional burn center and National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. U.S. News & World Report has included UC Irvine for 10 consecutive years on its list of America’s Best Hospitals, giving special recognition to its urology, gynecology, and ear, nose & throat programs.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UC Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UC Irvine is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s second-largest employer, UC Irvine contributes an annual economic impact of $4 billion. For more UC Irvine news, visit today.uci.edu.

About OneLegacy: OneLegacy is the nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation in the seven-county Greater Los Angeles area. Serving 215 hospitals, 12 transplant centers and a diverse population of 19 million, OneLegacy is the largest of the 58 federally designated organ and tissue recovery agencies in the U.S. Those wishing to make the commitment to donate may register online at www.donatelifecalifornia.org or www.donevidacalifornia.org/.

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