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Midwest Transplant Network recognizes MU Health Care

Midwest Transplant Network recognizes MU Health Care

Rob Linderer, Midwest Transplant Network chief executive officer; Michael Dunaway, senior vice president of field operations with the Missouri Hospital Association; Dr. Stevan Whitt, chief medical officer of the University of Missouri Health System; and Jan Finn, Midwest Transplant Network chief operating officer pose for a photo after the ceremony. (Photo courtesy of MU Health)

Those at the University of Missouri Health Care were recognized this month by the Midwest Transplant Network at a ceremony on May 14 in Westwood, Kansas, at the Midwest Transplant Network headquarters. Midwest Transplant Network is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and education of tissue and organ donations.

MU Health Care received the Excellence in Donation Award, for its 24 eligible organ donors with a conversion rate of 96 percent. The conversion rate is the percentage of organ donors who actually go through with the procedure. To be eligible for this award, an organization has to have at least four eligible donors with a conversion rate of 80 percent.

Two physicians at MU Health Care also received awards. Dr. Stevan Whitt, chief medical officer of the MU Health System, received the Excellence in Donation Award for being a member of the Midwest Transplant Network’s Critical Care Task Force for 10 years.

Dr. Jeffrey Coughenour, medical director of University Hospital’s Frank L. Mitchell Jr., M.D., Trauma Center and the Staff for Life Helicopter Service, was recognized for his work with patients on waiting lists for organ donations. He couldn’t make it to the ceremony in Westwood, Kansas, and was surprised to receive recognition for his work.

Coughenour said that a major reason organ donation is important is because it provides a positive opportunity for what are worst-case scenarios.

“I think where we have patients who have critical injuries … we try to have the best outcome,” Coughenour said. “[Organ donation] is the best outcome for what are bad situations, especially for the families, to see good out of some unexpected death.”

Not only is Midwest Transplant Network appreciative of the work MU Health Care is doing in organ donations, but also its partnership.

“These awards recognize the work that MU Health Care does to help provide donations to people in need of a lifesaving transplant,” said Jami Beezley, R.N., hospital services coordinator with Midwest Transplant Network, according to a press release.

“We greatly value our partnership with MU in helping us to further our mission of saving lives by honoring the gift of organ and tissue donation.”

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