WAUSAU – Aspirus Langlade Hospital, Aspirus Riverview Hospital and Aspirus Wausau Hospital were honored by University of Wisconsin Organ and Tissue Donation for their ongoing commitment to saving and improving lives through organ and tissue donation, Aspirus announced recently.

The Wausau hospital received the Bronze Award of Hope and the Excellence in Tissue Donation awards. The hospital cared for seven donors and averaged 3.57 organs transplanted per donor in 2018 to earn the bronze recognition, Aspirus said.

Additionally, respiratory therapist Sarah Schroeder provided education on ventilation strategies to improve lung outcomes, while ICU nurse and donation liaison Laura Scheck partnered with provider teams to create a new brain death declaration policy to improve staff and physician confidence in the donation process.

The Langlade and Riverview hospitals received the Excellence in Tissue Donation award. The award is given to Versiti partner hospitals who achieve at least a 60 percent consent rate. This metric measures the collaborative work between the hospital staff and tissue bank in coordinating communication around tissue consent conversations.

Aspirus Langlade Hospital saw a 67 percent tissue consent rate in 2018 with leadership from long-time liaison and emergency room manager Cathy Connor, according to Aspirus. As a result, four tissue donor heroes went on to help save and improve over 300 lives.

Aspirus Riverview Hospital was recognized for a strong donation culture thanks to the leadership of Kim Johnson, vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer; Carol Metcalf, critical care unit director of nursing; Julie Hiles, director of surgical services; Paul Frigoli, director of emergency services; and Jane Walczak, system manager of organizational learning & development. In 2018, the team identified 100 percent of patients who met clinical triggers, had a 100 percent appropriate tissue approach rate and a 67 percent tissue consent rate, Aspirus said.

“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 University of Wisconsin Organ and Tissue Donation, in a news release. “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.”

Aspirus representatives from each hospital received the awards during a ceremony May 8 in Wisconsin Dells.