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St. Joseph's Health Centre Toronto

St. Joseph’s awarded for supporting organ and tissue donation

For the first time, St. Joseph’s Health Centre has been awarded the Provincial Conversion Rate Award from Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) for its teams’ work with organ and tissue donation and for supporting families through a difficult and important process.

Every year, TGLN sets a goal for the Provincial Conversion Rate, asking hospitals to meet the target conversion rate. This is the percentage of potential organ donors (patients who die in a hospital setting and are deemed medically suitable for donation) who went on to become actual donors. This year, St. Joseph’s met this goal, with five organ donors, leading to 13 transplants, as well as 24 tissue donors. St. Michael’s Hospital, another site of Unity Health Toronto, also met the goal this year.

“Our teams work very hard to ensure every eligible family has the opportunity to save lives through organ and tissue donation,” said Dale Clement, vice-president of Clinical Programs at St. Joseph’s. “We are touched by our patients’ generosity and honoured to receive an award that recognizes them and our staff.”

This year St. Joseph’s is also recognizing two hidden heroes of organ and tissue donation, whose efforts help the hospital save and improve lives: Geeta Juta, an advanced practice clinical educator in the ICU, and Stephen Porter, a social worker in the Emergency Department.

For Nina Smith, team leader in the intensive care unit (ICU) at St. Joseph’s, the recognition from TGLN is a nod to the commitment from the team to ensure organ and tissue donation is a priority.

“I know first-hand that preparing eligible patients for donation is hard work,” she said.

“But the work we do to support donation saves many lives and that is meaningful. It’s sad to look after a patient at the end of their life, but the hope of helping other families really makes it worthwhile. The opportunity to help families find closure is one of the most rewarding parts of this work.”

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