PARTNER PROFILE: Center for Donation and Transplant

Congratulations to our colleagues at The Center for Donation & Transplant for celebrating "Fifty Years of Saving and Enhancing Lives." Senior Faculty Member at Gift of Life Institute, Patti Mulvania, recently caught up with Andrew Sigond, Director of Hospital & Community Services at CDT, to discuss the ongoing partnership between the two organizations.

Patti Mulvania, Senior Faculty Member, Gift of Life Institute
Andrew Sigond, Dir. of Hospital and Community Services, Center for Donation and Transplant

Patti Mulvania (PM): Andrew, first I’d like to congratulate you on two fronts – not only did CDT celebrate its 50th year in 2022, but I also understand that your organization marked another milestone – its 2000th donation.

Andrew Sigond (AS): Thank you Patti. Both are incredible accomplishments as we continue our mission of offering hope and healing to donor families in upstate New York and western Vermont and restoring the health of those who need an organ and tissue recovery.

PM: Actually, I should have also congratulated you on your recently released 2022 numbers.

AS: Our 2022 numbers far exceeded all expectations, with 109 recovered organ donors and 273 organs transplanted, both records for CDT. And, to top things off, our authorization rate was over 60%!

PM: Congratulations. So obviously that begs the question, what do you attribute this success to?

AS: We’re humbled and inspired by CDT’s community, which is amongst the most generous in the nation when it comes to donation. I know I’m preaching to the choir when I say that it takes a team of heroes – donors, donor families, our staff and wonderful hospital partners – to save the lives of people on the organ waitlist. Without each one of them, donation would not be possible.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the quality education that our staff has received through the Gift of Life Institute. Through Elizabeth’s (Elizabeth Spencer, Faculty, Gift of Life Institute) and your tutelage, we’ve developed standards of practice that really make a difference.  

PM: Thank you Andrew. We’re very proud of the partnership we’ve developed with you and your team over the past few years. From workshops on core conversation elements to clinical debriefs with leadership, I’ve witnessed a paradigm shift at CDT in both thinking and culture.

AS: CDT first began partnering with the Gift of Life Institute in 2019, after a challenging 2018 with 42% organ authorization rate and 75 authorizations leading to 54 recovered organ donors and 133 organs transplanted. In the first year of our collaboration with your team, all staff—from managers to front line requestors–were completely retrained as CDT shifted the focus of the organization towards authorization and the principles of dual advocacy. Within that first year, CDT saw organ authorization rate dramatically increase from 42% to 58%, with 102 authorizations leading to 78 recovered organ donors and 205 organs transplanted. This new level of authorization performance was able to be sustained throughout 2020 and 2021, leading to further growth in our donor program’s size.

PM: That’s wonderful. And again, congratulations on all you’ve achieved in 2022.

AS: Thank you Patti. We look forward to an even more successful 2023 and to continuing our partnership with Gift of Life Institute.  

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