Growth Is in This OPO's "DNA"

Over the past year, Donor Network of Arizona (DNA) has seen a dramatic increase in referrals for non-transplantable organs and tissue for research. As of the end of August, the OPO, located in Phoenix, AZ, had referred 198 organs. At that rate, DNA would reach 300 referrals, compared to 203 in all of 2015.

Jennifer Muriett, MSN, RN, CPTC, Director of Organ Recovery Services at DNA, identified two reasons to explain this growth. “First, we are focusing on making sure we offer every family interested in donating the research option if transplantation isn’t viable,” she said. “In addition, we’ve experienced a spike in volume due to a significant increase in organ donor designations through motor vehicle and other registries.”

Both Muriett and Mike Vara, IIAM’s Midwest and West Coast Regional Director, are just as proud of our close partnership in research since 2010. DNA’s staff regularly attends IIAM’s semiannual Research Recovery Workshops, which train surgical/tissue and perfusion techs how to recover non-transplantable organs for medical research.

“As we train people from OPOs, we see a marked increase in successful recoveries, which enables us to provide researchers with more acceptable organs,” said Vara. Muriett added, “It was an active decision on our part to commit to IIAM’s Research Recovery Workshops, a valuable way to practice skills and stay current with best practices.”

According to Muriett, IIAM’s call center makes the entire referral process smooth. “Their Placement Coordinators are knowledgeable, responsive, polite and easy to work with, and it’s a pleasure to collaborate with Mike and Gina (Executive Director Gina Dunne Smith). I appreciate our partnership with IIAM, as well as their relationships with medical researchers. After all, medical research is a key component to advances in medicine that lead to saving lives.”

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