WW Health is being recognized for its work with tissue donation. Pictured (L to R) are: Peter Mudge, Director of Acute Care Services, Alison Page, CEO, Joyce Kratz, Education & Development Specialist with ATSF, Allison Mentink, ED Clinical Lead. Submitted photo
WW Health is being recognized for its work with tissue donation. Pictured (L to R) are: Peter Mudge, Director of Acute Care Services, Alison Page, CEO, Joyce Kratz, Education & Development Specialist with ATSF, Allison Mentink, ED Clinical Lead. Submitted photo

Submitted by Maggie Cogbill, WW Health

BALDWIN, WI – Western Wisconsin Health (WW Health) is honored to announce our efforts to provide families with donation options and information. They have been recognized by the American Tissue Services Foundation (ATSF).

According to ATSF Education and Development Specialist, Joyce Kratz, WW Health achieved a 100-percent tissue donation rate in 2017. This means that tissue was recovered on 100-percent of the medical center’s eligible donors. Hospital staff also received training in tissue donation practices during the year from ATSF, its tissue donation partner.

“Through its dedication and focus on increasing donation, WW Health has made a tremendous difference in the lives of others,” Kratz says. “Donated tissue gifts save lives, as well as increases strength, mobility and independence for many, many patients.”

Gifts of tissue—which include bone, skin, heart valves, connective tissue and veins—are used in more than 1 million surgeries routinely performed each year in the United States. "Many more people are eligible tissue donors than they are organ donors," Kratz says. Organ donation usually takes place when brain death has occurred, and transplants must be performed within a short time afterward. Tissue can be recovered within 12 to 24 hours of death and preserved for later use.

“We are proud supporters of tissue donation,” said Allison Mentink, Clinical Lead of the Emergency department. “The gift of donation can be comforting to families during a sad time and can help them through the grieving process, knowing that their loved one is helping others. Many people qualify to be tissue donors when they pass away; a single donor can provide the gift of donation to over 50 people.”

American Tissue Services Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to caring for families and helping them heal from the death of their loved ones. Accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks, ATSF provides a compassionate and knowledgeable team of education, recovery and quality systems professionals. The organization supports healthcare agencies, coroners, medical examiners and funeral professionals through donation education and training. ATSF also partners with other agencies dedicated to the innovative use of tissue in medical care and research.

ATSF may be accessed online at atsfoundation.org. For more information on registering your donation wishes go to donatelifewisconsin.org.

Learn more about Western Wisconsin Health’s services, please visit wwhealth.org. For questions, please call 715-684-1111.