Piedmont Athens Receives LifeLink Award for Organ and Tissue Donation Efforts
Tuesday, January 21st, 2020
Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center was one of two hospitals in Georgia recently recognized with the 2019 Barbara and John Ware Donate Life Award from LifeLink of Georgia for its commitment to saving and enhancing lives through organ and tissue donation.
“We’re very honored to have received this recognition,” said Piedmont Athens Regional Director of Cardiac and Critical Care Services Candi Wiercioch, RN, who leads the hospital’s donor program. “The Piedmont Athens Regional team has been working very closely with LifeLink of Georgia to further educate our staff and community on the importance of organ donation. We’ve done an amazing job strengthening the program we have here for the benefit of those donating and receiving these life-saving donations.”
The Barbara and John Ware Donate Life Award was launched after Georgia resident John Ware experienced kidney failure and required a life-saving kidney transplant. Since then, he and his wife Barbara Ware have added an important mission to their lives – organ donation awareness – working hard to encourage others in their community to register as organ donors.
LifeLink of Georgia is an independent, non-profit organ and tissue recovery organization dedicated to serving patients in need of transplant therapy and their families.
Hospitals that receive LifeLink’s Barbara and John Ware Donate Life Award are recognized for making a noteworthy effort to increase opportunities for organ and tissue donation within the clinical setting or in the community.
Since the hospital’s program was first established, the number of donors has more than doubled. The hospital has also experienced an increase in the number of donor referrals (or potential donors) and a decrease in the number of missed referral opportunities.
Piedmont Athens Regional has also worked to establish annual events, including a yearly memorial to honor past donors and recipients and other donation awareness events.
It also now offers the opportunity for honor walks, during which friends, family, and staff line the halls of the hospital to honor the donor as he or she makes a final journey to the operating room that will result in the saving of others’ lives.
“We’ve worked hard to develop and better our hospital’s organ and tissue donation program, said Wiercioch. “Since doing so, we’ve made significant strides that have led to the increase in the opportunity for these donations in the 17-country region that we serve. We’re very proud of this hard work and even prouder of the benefits that this program has made to the communities we serve.”