Nearly 75 professionals from around the country submitted abstracts to be presented in August at the 42nd annual conference for NATCO, the organization for transplant professionals. Out of all the submissions, Gift of Hope’s very own donation coordinator, Lola Lewis, and her hospital champion, Amy Bandy from Carle Foundation Hospital, won the coveted Top Abstract Award.

Their abstract titled “Increasing Authorizations Through Early Informative Family Conversations” focused on why the DCD authorization rate was so much lower than the brain death authorization rates. Results from the collaborative research effort found families were saying no to donation because they already had a time set for withdraw of care and did not feel they could give any more time for the process of donation. These families wanted to be done and start to move on.

The solution was to make sure families had information about donation sooner, not making a request for a donation, but simply providing general education and support. By Gift of Hope and Carle Foundation Hospital staff working together to test out this new method, authorization rates went up from 59 percent in 2015 to 81 percent in 2016.

​The award will be presented to Lola and Amy at NATCO’s annual conference. Amy and Lola will also be featured in NATCO’s newsletter later this fall.