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Southlake recognized for championing Organ and Tissue Donation

Tuesday November 7, 2023

Ontario Health awards Southlake 2022/23 Hospital Achievement Award

Southlake has been recognized by Ontario Health (Trillium Gift of Life Network) for its outstanding efforts to integrate organ and tissue donation for transplantation into quality end-of-life care in 2022/23 with a Hospital Achievement Award.

“We are thrilled to be recognized as a leading hospital in organ and tissue donation,” said Alyson McQueen, Director, Medicine Programs and ICU. “This is an organizational achievement. It took everyone’s effort to receive this award, including all staff on inpatient units, critical care and surgery, as well as our support services and environmental services teams. Their contributions are vital to ensuring we provide leading edge care to the communities we serve.”

In the 2022 fiscal year, Southlake helped save 19 lives by recovering and transplanting four sets of lungs, 13 kidneys, one liver and one left liver segment. Southlake also recovered tissue such as eyes, skin, heart valves and bones from 39 tissue donors.

In a recent case that unfortunately included the loss of a young life, Southlake’s team was able to save organs from the donor including the patient’s lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and small bowel, which saved the lives of two children and five adults.

“It’s a bittersweet feeling when we see these cases because it means someone has lost their life, but organ donation saves others’ lives and leaves a legacy of compassion and hope,” said Dr. Terence Ip, Interim Chief of Anesthesiology at Southlake and Physician Lead for organ donation. “We have a moment of silence in the operating room to pay our respects to the patient and also to honour the lives that will be impacted through these gifts.”

Southlake was also recognized for approaching 100 per cent of eligible families to discuss the potential of organ donation for their loved one.

“Southlake has made an outstanding contribution to organ and tissue donation in Ontario and we are proud to partner with their exemplary team of healthcare professionals throughout the year to continue this vital work,” said Rebecca Cooper, Vice President, Ontario Renal Network and Trillium Gift of Life Network, Ontario Health. “By ensuring that the wishes of donors are realized, we honour their selflessness and the legacy they intend to leave behind. Every Ontarian has the potential to save or significantly enhance a life one day by registering at BeADonor.ca and speaking to their family about their donation decision.”

Today, there are nearly 1,400 Ontarians in need of a life-saving organ transplant and thousands more who are in need of life-restoring tissue transplants. Tragically, every three days someone dies waiting for an organ, while those awaiting valuable tissue will continue to experience a lower quality of life.

The success of organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Ontario hinges on the unwavering efforts of hospitals and healthcare professionals who work tirelessly to ensure that Ontarians have the opportunity to help others through the gift of life. The Hospital Achievement Awards recognize this crucial work and the profound impact it can have on those waiting for an organ or tissue donation.