Siblings bonded by a kidney, sense of humor, and organ donation message

On Wednesday, April 11 at 11:05am Hennepin Healthcare will celebrate the thousands of lives changed thanks to its 55th year of kidney transplant at a flag-raising ceremony outside HCMC’s 717 South 6th St. entrance. Every year Hennepin Healthcare honors donors and their families who have given organs, tissue, eyes and blood at this flag-raising ceremony to mark National Donate Life Month.

Attending this year’s Donate Life celebration will be special guests John Nelson, who received a kidney from his sister, Kris Roberts on October 23, 1975 – 42 years ago! Nelson and Roberts will be driving all the way from South Dakota for the flag-raising ceremony.

“So much has happened in the past 42 years that would not have been possible without my sister’s generous donation,” explains Nelson, a 75-year-old who retired from a successful career in the South Dakota Health Department.

JohnKrisDialysis1975HiRez (2)
Kris and John in 1975 at dialysis

“I was on dialysis in 1974 and at that time the life expectancy for someone with my diagnosis was 5 years. But after transplant surgery, I went on to complete a 35-year career in public heath microbiology. My wife and I have been married for 53 years. Thirty-nine years ago we adopted our daughter, and we now also have a grandson.”

“In my mind, there was no decision to be made,” said Kris Roberts when asked about her decision to donate her kidney to her brother. “As soon as I heard that he needed a kidney, I wanted to help. It was a great honor to improve his life.” Continue reading “Siblings bonded by a kidney, sense of humor, and organ donation message”

Wall of Heroes honors organ, tissue and eye donors

WOH 2Mosaic and kiosk unveiled at HCMC August 22

What:             “Wall of Heroes” unveiling at Hennepin County Medical Center When:          Thursday, August 22, 2013, 4-7 p.m.
Where:            2nd Floor, HCMC’s Red Building, 717 S. 7th St. entrance

On Thursday, August 22, from 4-7 p.m. Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) unveils its “Wall of Heroes” to honor those who have given a part of themselves so that someone else could live a healthier life – or in many cases, simply live. The display consists of a specially designed mosaic created for HCMC, along with an interactive kiosk containing names, photographs, and stories of HCMC organ, tissue and eye donors submitted by both donors and their families. The kiosk will also contain informational articles about the importance of organ donation, a direct link to sign up as an organ donor, and an opportunity to support the Wall of Heroes.

The mosaic artwork was funded by the Hennepin Health Foundation and created by local artist Michael J. Sweere, whose inspiration came from the themes of “transformation” and “new life.” A special focus group of family members and former patients who have been touched by organ donation suggested the themes, which are represented in the artwork by a garden with insects, birds and flowers. Continue reading “Wall of Heroes honors organ, tissue and eye donors”

HCMC honored for organ donation excellence

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) was recently awarded a silver medal of honor for organ donation excellence by the Department of Health and Human Services at the National Learning Congress.  This is the fifth time HCMC has won this prestigious national award for meeting and exceeding national goals for donation to increase the number of lives saved through transplantation.

“Of course we’re honored to be recognized;  however, it’s our patients and their families who deserve the recognition,” explains Lynelle Scullard, RN, Nurse Manager of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit who accepted the award on behalf of HCMC.  “They’ve made that important decision to bring life and hope to someone else. It’s only because of this decision that life goes on after one passes away.  Our part in the process pales in comparison to such a gift.”

Hennepin County Medical Center partners with LifeSource Organ and Tissue Donation Services to save lives through organ and tissue donation. LifeSource is a non-profit organization that serves as the “bridge” between donation and transplantation in hospitals throughout the Upper Midwest.

Grant provides kidney donation education for American Indians and Alaska Natives in Minnesota

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) has been awarded a Federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant to develop a theory-based educational program to teach the risks and benefits of living kidney donation (LKD) to Federally-designated American Indians residing in the State of Minnesota.

American Indians and Alaska Natives have a high prevalence of Type II diabetes compared to other racial/ethnic minority group, which means that they also have a high rate of chronic kidney disease (CKD).  Type II diabetes, a leading factor in kidney failure, continues to be a growing concern for the American Indian community. LKD can be a life-saving intervention for people with kidney failure; however, for several reasons, American Indians often aren’t getting the information they need about organ donation. Continue reading “Grant provides kidney donation education for American Indians and Alaska Natives in Minnesota”

HCMC receives Crystal Award for support of organ donation

Hennepin receives Crystal Award for support of organ donation

HCMC received the Crystal Award from the Minnesota Hospital Association for outstanding support of the Donate Life Minnesota campaign.

Susan Weese, Hennepin’s hospital coordinator from LifeSource, nominated Hennepin for the award for being “a strong partner and team member in the LifeSource service area and embracing the campaign.” Hennepin’s support of organ donation this year included promotion of the Take 5 campaign from hospital leadership, providing a personal letter from the hospital to families of designated donors, and active promotion of Donate Life Month again this April.