Ascension St. Clare’s Hospital, Weston, and Ascension Good Samaritan Hospital, Merrill, are among 16 hospitals recently honored by the University of Wisconsin Organ and Tissue Donation for their ongoing commitment to saving and improving lives through organ and tissue donation.

The UW OTD Award of Hope recognizes the work of hospitals that achieve or exceed the goals of two measures that maximize the gift of life: the true conversion rate, which measures the percent of medically eligible donors that become actual donors; and organs transplanted per donor, which measures the average number of organs recovered from each donor.

Ascension St. Clare’s and Ascension Good Samaritan each received the Excellence in Tissue Donation award, which is given annually to Wisconsin Tissue Bank partner hospitals who achieved at least a 60 percent consent rate, according to an Ascension Wisconsin news release. This metric measures the collaborative work between the hospital staff and tissue bank in coordinating communication around tissue consent conversations.

“A successful organ donation program is closely aligned with our value of reverence within Ascension,” said Jeremy Normington-Slay, president of Ascension St. Clare’s and Ascension Good Samaritan, in the news release. “Honoring patient’s wishes and respecting the value of every life takes a team of dedicated individuals from a variety of areas, including our emergency department and patient care units with support from our operating rooms, laboratory, spiritual care and house supervisors.”

In 2017, Ascension St. Clare’s had a donation consent rate of nearly 75 percent and Ascension Good Samaritan achieved an 80 percent rate, which made possible more than 550 gifts of tissue for transplant, giving people improved mobility, clarity of sight and freedom from pain, according to Ascension.

“The clinical management of donors, coupled with a hospital’s compassionate support of donor families, is a critical component to saving lives through the gift of organ donation and transplantation,” said Michael Anderson, executive director of UW OTD. “We honor these hospitals and their incredible physicians and nursing teams for working so hard to help ensure that those who are waiting for a transplant will get a second chance at life.”

The 2017 Award of Hope winners were honored during a ceremony May 17.

 More information on organ, tissue and eye donation in Wisconsin can be found at or at a Wisconsin DMV Service Center.