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UC Irvine Medical Center is recognized for its commitment to organ donation

Orange, Calif., Dec. 2, 2010 UC Irvine Medical Center recently received a Silver Medal of Honor from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for its role in supporting organ and tissue donation.

UC Irvine had 28 donors and 77 organs transplanted in the highest-performing 12-month period between Oct. 1, 2008, and March 31, 2010 the most of the 10 hospitals HHS commended in the seven-county Greater Los Angeles area served by OneLegacy, the nonprofit, federally designated organ and tissue recovery agency. The medical center's conversion rate, which represents the number of actual organ donors out of all eligible potential donors, was 82 percent.

The HHS Silver Medal is awarded to hospitals meeting two of three criteria: an organ donation conversion rate of 75 percent or higher; 3.75 or more organs donated per individual donor; and a rate of donation after cardiac death of at least 10 percent.

"We are honored that the Department of Health & Human Services has recognized UC Irvine's commitment to organ donation," said Terry A. Belmont, CEO of UC Irvine Medical Center. "It's an obligation we take very seriously. There can be no higher goal than to help a family with this difficult decision to give the gift of life and donate a loved one's organs."

The medical center's donor program has grown steadily since its 2005 inception, overseen by the Organ Donor Council, which reviews policies and practices and addresses legal, medical and ethical issues related to donation.

UC Irvine in October celebrated 20 organ donors and their families and will contribute a fresh rose representing each to OneLegacy's Donate Life Rose Parade float. The hospital also acknowledges every organ donor and his or her family by flying a Donate Life flag at the main entrance for one week.

The 10 award-winning regional facilities working with OneLegacy accounted for 91 organ or tissue donations that resulted in 287 transplants between Oct. 1, 2008, and March 31, 2010. The numbers reflect the success of the Organ Donation/Transplantation Breakthrough Collaborative, an initiative launched by HHS in 2003 to identify and spread best practices to the nation's largest hospitals.

"Thanks to the generosity of donor families and registered donors, our collaboration with hospitals and transplant centers, and the skill of OneLegacy's donation professionals, we are answering the needs of the more than 109,000 people nationwide who await lifesaving transplants," said Thomas Mone, executive vice president and CEO of OneLegacy.


Contact: John Murray
University of California - Irvine

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