WICHITA – Wesley Medical Center’s organ donor program and its physician leader, Dr. Donald Vasquez, DO, recently received Excellence in Donation awards at the Midwest Transplant Network’s annual service area award celebration for their efforts to save lives through organ, eye and tissue donations.
Wesley received the Organ Conversion Excellence Award by providing four eligible donors with a conversion rate greater than 80 percent and the Tissue Conversion Excellence Award for providing at least 15 eligible tissue donors with a conversion rate of greater than 40 percent.
“Our results are truly a team effort through Wesley’s Donor Advisory Council,” said Cyndi Chapman, Wesley’s pediatric intensive care manager and chairwoman of the Donor Advisory Council for Wesley and Galichia Heart Hospital. “The council works closely with Dr. Vasquez, who has guided us to the top of the nation this year in donation efforts in our area.”
In 2014, Wesley had 19 recovered organ donors. This resulted in 54 recovered organs such as hearts, lungs, livers and kidneys that, along with 43 recovered tissue donors and 107 eye donations, helped touch the lives of more than 2,250 people.
Organ donation has become a very important aspect of our medical care, Chapman said.
“It’s not something people want to think about. However, it is often the most positive thing in very difficult, sad situations,” she said. “Especially when families are faced with tragedy or unexpected deaths, they are looking for something to hold on to, and knowing their loved one has had the opportunity to live on is a huge, unselfish gesture.”
The Midwest Transplant Network has been coordinating organ and tissue donation in Kansas and western Missouri communities for 40 years. The successful development of organ and tissue transplantation is one of the most celebrated triumphs of modern medicine, and the network works to increase education and awareness to fulfill the need for organ and tissue donors and make it possible to deliver this service, officials said.
National statistics show that 21 people die every day while waiting for a transplant. However, one organ donor can save up to eight lives and one tissue donation can save up to 50 people, experts say. Hospitals play a big role in that.
“We are so proud to partner with Wesley in saving lives,” said Jan Finn, vice president and chief operating officer for Midwest Transplant Network. “The dedication of the entire team truly makes a difference to so many individuals who depend on the generosity of donors and their families.”
Wesley Medical Center is the region’s leading acute care hospital network providing a full range of diagnostic and treatment services for patients throughout Kansas and northern Oklahoma since 1912. As a leader in Overall Recommended Care in national surveys, Wesley treats more than 24,000 patients annually and delivers more than 6,000 babies – more than any hospital in a 13-state region. Wesley provides the most extensive emergency network in Wichita, with Wesley ER, Wesley West ER, Galichia ER and the region’s only pediatric ER. Wesley owns and operates Galichia Heart Hospital and multiple WESLEYCare clinics, and it recently announced plans to build a dedicated children’s hospital. To learn more about Wesley Medical Center, please visit www.wesleymc.com.