Livingston HealthCare (LHC) is the recipient of the 2016 “Tissue
Donation Referral Achievement Award” from LifeCenter NorthWest,
a federally-designated organ and tissue harvesting organization serving
Montana, northern Idaho, Washington and Alaska. The award recognizes Livingston
HealthCare’s punctual alerts to LifeCenter when an organ and tissue
donor has passed away at Livingston HealthCare.
Bryce Enewold, Hospital Development Coordinator for LifeCenter NorthWest,
says notification of a potential donor is needed within 60 minutes of
death. Timely notification ensures tissues gathered are fresh, viable
and reach recipients for transplant within 12-24 hours. According to LifeCenter
NorthWest, 90 percent of Livingston HealthCare’s organ donor referrals
were made within that one-hour window.
Enewold says 75 to 100 lives can be saved or enhanced by a single tissue
donor and about 116,000 people in the United States are on the organ transplant
list. Approximately 200 of those on the organ donation list live in Montana,
where 88 percent of the state’s adults are registered donors—the
highest of any state in the nation, according to LifeCenter Northwest’s website.
LifeCenter Northwest records indicate that, over the past few years, 13
tissue grafts were transplanted from Livingston HealthCare, four of which
were skin grafts that enhanced the lives of a 24-year-old and a 65-year-old.
Melissa Wiltse, RN, BSN, who oversees staff development and education
for Livingston HealthCare’s nursing staff, says one of the most
common organs harvested at the hospital are eyes for corneal transplants.
In congruence with Livingston HealthCare’s mission to offer excellent,
patient-centered care through all life’s stages, Wiltse is keen
to lend due attention to organ and tissue recovery. “You’re
disrespecting that patient’s wishes if it [organ donation] was their
request and you don’t do it,” she says.
Photo caption: At left, Bryce Enewold, Hospital Development Coordinator
for LifeCenter Northwest, and Laura Hanna, right, Hospital Development
Project Manager for LifeCenter Northwest, present Livingston HealthCare
and Melissa Wiltse with a Tissue Donation Referral Achievement Award on