2019 Recovery Workshops Hosted by “Champions of Research”

IIAM’s Research Recovery Workshops, now in its 12th year, took place at the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA) in Covington, LA, and Donor Alliance (CORS) in Denver, CO in March and August, respectively.

Each biannual workshop provides training to OPO staff in best surgical practices for organ and tissue recovery and offers trainees Category I, ABTC CEU credits. But this year’s Research Recovery Workshops were special, because they were hosted by two of IIAM’s most active partners, especially in our Neonatal Donor Program and in their brand new facility.

“LOPA has been a committed partner of IIAM for many years,” said Amberly Jones, IIAM’s East Coast Regional Director. “We’ve had the privilege of working with Tina Madere and Laura LeGuin, who have been champions of research when transplant cannot occur. They ensure that research options for organ donors are presented to all families. And they work closely with families of babies with a terminal diagnosis to find options to help others through research; research donation is a neonatal family’s sole opportunity for donation of any kind 83 percent of the time from our seven years of experience.”

The new facility houses a donor care center, one of only ten in the U.S., and includes a three-bed ICU, three operating rooms, and an area designated for research recovery and training. “LOPA’s commitment to facilitating organ and tissue donation for medical research is strong and IIAM appreciates its support,” said Mike Vara, IIAM’s Midwest and West Coast Regional Director. “In addition to providing meeting and training space, the OPO had staff on hand to welcome and meet the needs of workshop attendees.”

The most recent workshop was held at Donor Alliance, a two-time host to this event. With a newly signed Preferred Partner Agreement, IIAM and Donor Alliance launched the program to further promote some of our most progressive research. Highlights of the workshop were presentations by Kurt Reis and Mingder Yang representing the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD), Keith Armitage, representing the heart research team at Anabios; Jason Benjamin, representing Lung Bio-Engineering; John Bruens, CEO of Global Transplant Solutions; Lauren Puckett, a kidney recipient; Billy Snyder, representing the liver research team at OrganOx; Kelsey Wigington, a neonatal donor mom; and Mingder Yang, a pancreas researcher with nPOD. We were also proud to display the video, AMALYA, that highlights IIAM’s first neonatal donor Amalya Nathaniel Conkel and the story of Bethany and Eric Conkel in their journey toward his donation.

IIAM’s next recovery workshop will be held January 7-8, hosted by Life Alliance in Miami, FL (a three-time host!). Please contact an IIAM Regional Director for additional details (800-486-4426).

Participants at the March workshop represented the following OPOs (in alphabetical order): Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency, Center for Donation and Transplant, Donor Network of Arizona, Life Connection of Ohio, Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, Northwest Donor Network and Upstate New York Transplant Services.

Participants at the August workshop represented Donor Alliance, Legacy of Hope, Lifelink of Georgia, We Are Sharing Hope – South Carolina, Southwest Transplant Alliance, Lifeline of Ohio, LifeCenter, Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, Live On New York, Carolina Donor Services, and Washington Regional Transplant Community.

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