Where You Place Your Organs Matters — A Great Deal
“Through our 30-year relationship with IIAM, we have been able to help many families who want to help others through research. IIAM continues to offer families opportunities beyond the high-demand research organs, while simplifying the referral process.” – LifeSource, an IIAM Recovery Partner
IIAM has been at the forefront of significant developments in our industry. As a nonprofit facilitator of every organ and nearly every tissue that can be donated to advance medical research, we create and nurture a strong network of recovery partners, donor families and the research community — which is fueling new breakthroughs that transcend the sphere of medicine.
To honor the wishes of donors and maximize the impact of each donation, IIAM, along with our partners, have developed comprehensive protocols for organ matching, recovery and delivery. Our commitment extends to hosting ongoing Research Recovery Workshops, spearheading electronic screening and referrals, and trailblazing a Neonatal Donor Program that has now assisted 136 families.
Everyone who reads this story is engaged in a noble cause; but it’s also a business. With more demand than ever for research organs, specifically livers, the decisions made by OPOs and the partnerships they forge can impact outcomes and future expectations.
“A growing number of OPOs have begun to consider or accommodate research entities that are looking just for livers, an increasingly scarce organ made available for medical study and/or therapeutic application,” said Gina Dunne Smith, Executive Director of IIAM. “Because only 15 percent of our placements are livers — which account for 60 percent of our operating costs coverage — every liver is necessary to enable us to screen, allocate and place more than 1200 non-hepatic organs and tissue for research.
“IIAM is working hard to help our recovery partners honor the wishes of every donor. Our OPOs matter a great deal to us, and where they place their research organs also matters a great deal. When we’re deprived of critical livers, the sustainable model that has enabled us to support donors of all organs — and research communities who require these very organs for their studies — is at risk. Working with IIAM and investing in our future allows us to support OPOs for their future. That’s what we mean by ‘shared success.’”
So, let’s all pause to reflect on the true meaning of partnership — its benefits and its responsibilities — and focus our 2020 vision on what’s best for our industry as well as future generations.
“We cannot thank the donor families directly, so we ask you to pass our words of appreciation to them. Patients of the future owe them a debt of gratitude.” – IIAM researcher