Date: 1/5/2010

Gift of Hope honors Community Hospital for Saving Lives through Tissue Donation Efforts

Pictured from left to right: Jerry Anderson, CEO, Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network presents Jana Lacera, Director IRB/Bio-Ethics, Community Hospital the Top Tissue Donor Hospital award as Mary Jane Wurth, President, Illinois Hospital Association and Tom Cycyoto, AlloSource offer congratulations.

Community Hospital in Munster is among the Gift of Hope’s 2009 honorees for outstanding achievement in saving and enhancing lives through organ or tissue donations. The 2009 Top Tissue Donor Hospital award has been presented to Community Hospital at Gift of Hope’s third annual Chicagoland hospital event: The “X” Factor: Where Donation and Transplantation Intersect.

At the event, several area hospitals were recognized in three categories: total number of eligible organ donors; top tissue donating hospitals and top transplant centers. Twenty-one Chicago and suburban hospitals earned a Medal of Honor for organ donations; 16 hospitals and medical centers were recognized for greatest number of tissue donations, including Community Hospital, and four Illinois medical centers received Transplant Center awards.

“Being recognized as one of 16 top hospitals as a 2009 Tissue Donor Hospital Award recipient represents a significant accomplishment, since Gift of Hope serves 173 hospitals in Chicago, its surrounding suburbs and northwest Indiana - many of which are Level 1 Trauma Centers,” said Donald P. Fesko, Chief Executive Officer, Community Hospital. “It shows that regardless of the size of the hospital, the combined efforts of caring healthcare professionals and the generosity of the people in our communities can make a brighter future for those in need of organ and tissue donations.”

Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network is a not-for-profit organ procurement organization that coordinates organ and tissue donation and services to families of donors in the northern three-quarters of Illinois and northwest Indiana. Since inception in 1986, Gift of Hope has coordinated donations that have saved the lives of more than 17,000 organ transplant recipients and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients. As one of 58 organ procurement organizations that make up the nation’s organ donation system, Gift of Hope works with 179 hospitals and serves 12 million residents in its donation service area.

“At the hospitals of Community Healthcare System, our mission is to spread awareness of the important healthcare decisions patients can make to assure that their wishes are followed regarding organ, tissue and eye donation” said Jana Lacera, director of the IRB and Bio-Ethics Committees at Community Healthcare System. “The criterion for the award was to achieve 20 or more tissue donors for the period from June 2008 to June 2009. Community Hospital was able to meet and exceed this goal with 21 tissue donors — who offered the greatest gift of all, the gift of life.”

For more information about the programs and services available from Community Hospital in Munster, visit us online at