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VUMC lauded for organ donation awareness efforts

Jul. 21, 2016, 10:52 AM

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been awarded Platinum status by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as a leader in organ, eye and tissue donation awareness.

Vanderbilt is the only hospital in the state to be recognized.

“Every day, more people are added to the national organ transplant waiting list,” said Rachael Gipson, senior hospital services in-house coordinator for Tennessee Donor Services (TDS). “Every week more than 100 individuals die because there are simply not enough organs available to meet the need.Transplant Platinum logo

“Vanderbilt and TDS have worked really hard to educate staff, patients, visitors and the community about the critical need for organ, eye and tissue donors. Because of our efforts, we achieved the highest possible level in the program.”

This is the second year that Vanderbilt has participated in the Workplace Partnership for Life (WPFL) program, a national initiative created in 2001 to promote the importance of organ, eye, tissue, blood and bone marrow donation and help increase the pool of donors on the registry.
Last year the Medical Center was recognized at the gold level.

More than 11,000 companies, associations and organizations have joined as “Workplace Partners” and helped to register more than 580,000 organ and tissue donors.

Gipson said Donate Life Vanderbilt has been a great example of how to empower employees, patients and visitors to make an impact on donation participation through annual events like the Donor Flag Raising ceremony, Songs for Life benefit concert and Living Donor observances.

“Vanderbilt University Medical Center cares for many patients in need of transplant of both organs and tissue,” said C. Lee Parmley, M.D., J.D., chief of staff of Vanderbilt University Hospital. “We recognize the struggle many patients and families face dealing with the challenges of daily life and even for survival as they wait on transplant lists for organs to become available.

“We are proud to partner with Tennessee Donor Services in efforts to heighten awareness of the increasing need for organ donation to help these patients,” said Parmley, professor of Anesthesiology and chief of the Critical Care Division of the Department of Anesthesiology.

For more information on how you can register to be an organ, tissue and eye donor go to

To learn more on the WPFL program at Vanderbilt contact Gipson at


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