Saint Anthony approved to join Gift of Hope

Staff Report

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has approved OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center’s application to leave its current, Wisconsin-based organ procurement organization (OPO) and join Illinois’ Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network.

OSF Saint Anthony filed the waiver request in July 2010 with the strong support of many members of the Illinois congressional delegation, including U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), U.S. representatives Don Manzullo (R-16), Peter Roskam (R-6) and Danny Davis (D-7), state lawmakers, including the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and Illinois Latino Legislative Caucus, as well as organ recipients, donor families, transplant doctors and hospitals across Illinois.

“We believe our new partnership with Gift of Hope will help increase organ donation and better serve Illinois residents and their families,” said David Schertz, president and CEO of OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center. “OSF Saint Anthony is focused on increasing organ donation, and Gift of Hope has a proven track record of improving services and community outreach in order to achieve that goal.”

Gift of Hope is one of the top-performing OPOs in the country, and OSF Saint Anthony believes incorporating Gift of Hope’s successful processes and outreach network will lead to higher organ donation rates, shorter wait times for patients and improved care for patients.

“We are excited to align with OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center and believe this partnership is critical to patients awaiting transplants throughout Illinois,” said Jarold Anderson, president and CEO of Gift of Hope. “Working together will create a stronger network for waiting recipients. We appreciate everyone who voiced their support for the partnership.”

Gift of Hope is one of 58 federally designated, not-for-profit agencies that coordinates organ and tissue donation and supports donor families in the northern three-quarters of Illinois and northwest Indiana. Gift of Hope works with 179 hospitals—stretching from Rockford to Peoria and Springfield and throughout Chicagoland. The organization is responsible for educating the public, health care professionals and families about the critical need for organ and tissue donation, as well as coordinating the recovery of organs and tissue for transplant.

Gift of Hope works closely with Illinois’ nine transplant centers, including Advocate Christ Medical Center, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, Loyola University Medical Center, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Memorial Medical Center (Springfield), The University of Chicago Medical Center and the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago.

Gift of Hope serves a population of 11.8 million, with more than 4,700 people waiting for organ transplants in its designated service area. Since Gift of Hope’s inception in 1986, they have coordinated donations that have saved the lives of 18,000 recipients and helped hundreds of thousands of patients receive needed tissue transplants.

From the May 25-31, 2011 issue

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