Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience receives Department of Health and Human Services award

December 23, 2008

PHILADELPHIA - The Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience (JHN) the Medal of Honor for achieving a lifesaving organ donation conversion rate of 75 percent or greater for a sustained 12-month period. The award was given during the fourth National Learning Congress held in Nashville, Tennessee in October.

"Everyday, the doctors, nurses and staff at Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience work tirelessly to ensure their patients are receiving the best care possible," said Thomas J. Lewis, president and chief executive officer, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals. "This recognition shows that when the limits of contemporary medicine have been reached and hard decisions need to be made, our team deals with those situations in a forthright, compassionate and thoughtful manner."

The 75 percent goal was first created as part of the National Breakthrough Collaborative, established in 2002 in an effort to maximize each and every organ donation opportunity. Since then, approximately 4,000 more transplants were performed in the U.S. last year - more than 28,000 - compared with 24,000 that were done in 2001, the year prior to the Collaborative's onset.

Gift of Life Donor Program, the organ and tissue donor program serving eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, celebrated the work of JHN at the Learning Congress and its dedication to saving lives through donation. A total of 50 people - including Gift of Life staff and hospital partners - attended the sessions in Nashville from this region.

"The National Learning Congress afforded us excellent opportunities to strengthen relationships, celebrate successes, and most importantly, to refocus our collective energies toward the work at hand, ensuring that optimal donation systems are in place across our region," said Gweneth George, Director of Hospital Services, for Gift of Life.

Today, there are more than 5,600 patients in this region awaiting the gift of a life-saving organ transplant. "Continued collaborations are paramount to ensuring that no patient dies before an organ transplant becomes available," added George.
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Thomas Jefferson University

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