When you sign up to become a registered organ donor, the chance of you having the opportunity to be an organ donor someday is incredibly rare. In fact, only about one percent of people will pass in a way that allows for organ donation to be a possibility. This is why the support and collaboration of so many partners is so vital to ensure donation can happen when the possibility arises.
“Statistics show that three in 1,000 people can actually become an organ donor,” said Carlie Crunk, Mid-America Transplant’s director of hospital and family support. “It really does take your care team at the hospital, along with Mid-America Transplant, to ensure that it’s an opportunity for every eligible patient.”
As a way to connect with and support our hospital partners and anyone who touches the organ donation process, Mid-America Transplant is proud to sponsor a free event called the 2022 “Inspired by Life” Symposium on Oct. 13. The inspirational day-long event will be held at St. Louis Union Station from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. and will take attendees through the steps of the organ donation process from the initial referral of a potential donor to the care provided to donor families after their loved one donates. The symposium will also cover topics such as donor management and research, the DCD donation process, tissue donation, and the importance of aftercare. Attendees will hear from guest speakers, donor families and recipients, and may even have an opportunity to share their personal connection to organ donation.
Crunk says one of the goals of the symposium is to increase collaboration. “How does the organ procurement organization (OPO) collaborate with the hospital to ensure that donation is offered to every eligible family?” Crunk added. “It should spark the interest of hospital partners who are always wanting to know more about donation. So much of our process occurs outside of the hospital. This symposium will be an inside look at what happens when the patient is transported back to Mid-America Transplant. Our hospital partners see a high overview of the process and our goal is to bring them in for a little bit more dialogue and education around every piece of the donation process.”
Another goal is to increase the support for both donors and their families as well as recipients and their loved ones. “Because organ donation is a rare and often infrequent piece of their process at the hospital, we really want to ensure we’re helping our hospital partners provide the right kind of support to families,” Crunk said. “How can we ensure they help families make end of life decisions that may include the opportunity for donation? How can we increase the collaboration and organization around the process because it’s such a rare opportunity? Those are all things that will be addressed at the symposium.”
At the end of the day, Crunk says it’s a great way for partners who share the passion for the organ donation mission to learn more. “You’ll learn something new that you might not get to hear about every day.”
In addition to the learning opportunities, raffle prizes will be offered every hour, breakfast and lunch are provided, and CEUs are available for those who need them. Click here for more information and to register. The symposium is free to attend.