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Center for Donation and Transplant Honors Those Dedicated to Increasing Organ Donation
   May 4, 2005


ALBANY, N.Y., May 4, 2005 - The Center for Donation and Transplant (CDT) recognized several individuals for their support of organ and tissue donation at its ninth Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 28, 2005 at the Century House in Latham.  The dinner is held each year to recognize health care professionals and individuals in the greater community that support CDT’s mission and work to increase organ and tissue donation. 

John N. Morley, M.D., vice president of medical affairs and medical director of the Albany Medical Center, was the inaugural recipient of the “Health Care Practitioner of the Year Award.”

“Dr. Morley ensures the cooperation and participation of the many team members needed to facilitate organ donation cases at his hospital, and he encourages all hospital staff to partner with CDT to increase donation. He has done great service to the donor families at Albany Medical Center, to the hundreds who await transplant in this area, and to the thousands on the list nationwide,” said Jeffrey P. Orlowski, executive director of CDT.

In addition, Lyn LaBarre, B.S.N., M.S., administrator, emergency services at Albany Med, Karen Sigond, R.N., B.S.N., nurse manager of the medical intensive care unit at Albany Med, and Bill McTague, manager of operations at CDT were presented the “Executive Director’s Award” for their efforts with the “Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaborative,” an initiative in which hospitals and their organ procurement organizations partner together to implement policies and procedures designed to increase rates of organ donation.

Linda Lewis, RN, CCRN, a critical care nurse at Samaritan Hospital, received the

“Nurse of the Year Award.”  Lewis has been a strong supporter of organ donation

throughout her 20-year career as a nursing professional.  In accepting her award, she shared with the audience that she had become dedicated to helping families through the donation process after watching a young newlywed woman consent to the donation of her groom’s organs after a tragic accident.  Lewis said the experience made her realize that the ability to give the gift of life offers families hope and peace in the midst of grief and tragedy.

Several individuals were recognized with community service awards, including Richard P. Gaun III, R.M.D.I., local medical examiner coordinator for the state of Vermont, and CDT volunteers John S. Weakley, Jim Carter and Ray Wright.  Community service awards are presented to individuals who work outside of the health care profession, but are vital to the success of CDT’s mission. 

The Center for Donation & Transplant (CDT) is a non-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) dedicated to increasing organ and tissue donation.  CDT coordinates the retrieval of donor organs and tissue at 47 hospitals throughout northeastern New York state and western Vermont.

For more information, please call Lauren Quinn, public relations specialist for CDT at (518) 262-9543

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