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Gundersen honored for organ and tissue donation efforts

Christine Waller, MD, receives prestigious Donn Dexter Physician Excellence Award 

Gundersen Health System is a top performer for saving and improving lives through organ and tissue donation. 

University of Wisconsin Organ and Tissue Donation (UW OTD) honored Gundersen today with the Bronze Award of Hope and recognition for Excellence in Tissue Donation. 

In addition, Christine Waller, MD, FACS, Gundersen General Surgery, received the Donn Dexter Physician Excellence Award, which recognizes the comprehensive work of one physician exemplifying the highest standards of donation support. UW OTD shares Dr. Waller demonstrates consistently supportive medical donation practices and is an advocate on behalf of organ donor patients and families. 

“It is a great privilege to serve our patients and families. The recognition Gundersen received from UW OTD is a direct reflection of the patient/family focused care provided by great teamwork and partnership. On behalf of our incredible team and those we serve, I am truly honored,” Dr. Waller shared. 

"The clinical management of donors, coupled with a hospital's compassionate support of donor families, is a critical component to saving lives through the gift of organ donation and transplantation," said Michael Anderson, executive director of UW OTD. "We honor Gundersen, Dr. Waller, and their great clinical team for working so hard to help ensure that those who are waiting for a transplant will get a second chance at life." 

The UW OTD Award of Hope recognizes the comprehensive work of hospitals that achieve or exceed the goals of two important measures that maximize the gift of life: the true conversion rate (TCR), which measures the percent of medically eligible donors that become actual donors; and organs transplanted per donor (OTPD), which measures the average number of organs recovered from each donor. Hospitals earn a gold, silver or bronze award depending on an OTPD of 3.25 (bronze), a true conversion rate of at least 75 percent (silver) or meeting both metrics (gold). 

The Excellence in Tissue Donation award is given to Versiti partner hospitals who achieve at least a 60 percent consent rate. This metric measures the collaborative work between the hospital staff and tissue bank in coordinating communication around tissue consent conversations. 

UW OTD is a federally designated organ procurement organization serving 113 hospitals in Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois. 

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