Partner Spotlight: Donor Alliance
Here at CCAHEC, we are proud of and value the partnerships we have made over time. Donor Alliance is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. As the federally designated organ procurement organization and accredited tissue bank for Colorado and most of Wyoming, Donor Alliance serves more than 100 hospitals and 5.8 million residents in facilitating the gift of life. In November, Donor Alliance was awarded the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. This is a Presidential-level honor which recognizes U.S. organizations and businesses that demonstrate an “unceasing drive for radical innovation, thoughtful leadership and administrative improvement.”
The relationship between our two organizations was born out of similar missions and interests over three years ago. Anne Gaspers, Donor Alliance Public Education Coordinator said, “Both organizations are all about education and work with similar populations.” They have provided the Transplantation Science curriculum to students enrolled in the Health Careers Pre-Apprenticeship and AHEC Career Exploration programs. Additionally, they make available free educational materials and resources about organ, eye, and tissue donation, such as posters, brochures, etc. CCAHEC’s Education and Workforce Manager Mitch Fittro said, “Donor Alliance has been a phenomenal partner to CCAHEC over the years. Their mission and vision line up very well with CCAHEC’s and CCAHEC is proud to partner with and promote Donor Alliance and their organ donation events/information. I absolutely love working with Anne Gaspers and everyone else over at D.A.”
When asked about what she was most proud of at Donor Alliance, Anne Gaspers said that they have increased the number of students they teach every year and have built strong relationships with key teachers which has resulted in 75% of them requesting Donor Alliance return annually. They have also created a very impactful partnership with the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles. Each month they deliver training to DMV personnel, which equips them to answer donor related questions on-site, and results in more people electing to be a donor when they receive their Driver’s License or ID.
When Ms. Gaspers was asked how our community can help Donor Alliance achieve their mission, her initial response was simple and impactful, “Be a donor.” If you are not a registered donor, you can register at donatelife.org or at your local DMV. Remember, one donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation, and one donor can save more than 75 lives through tissue donation. If you are already registered, there are other ways you can help them achieve their mission. Simply communicate your decision to be a donor with your family. Having that conversation is the first step in awareness for many family members and vital in continuing the donor culture for the next generation. There are also many volunteer opportunities at www.donatelifecolorado.org. All volunteers receive training which means anyone can help. Click here and sign up now!