116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The team members at Iowa Donor Network help others during times of turmoil and in turn save lives.
Spring is an excellent time for reflection. As the flowers bloom and weather warms, I think about the Iowans and team members across the country who work tirelessly to ensure other Iowans find a glimmer of warmth and comfort in the worst moment of their life.
I’m thankful to Iowa Donor Network team members who work to help each donor’s family process their grief and understand donation options. These caring team members offer comfort and support during an incredibly difficult time. Families across Iowa are proud donor families and fondly recall the lives their loved ones saved by being donors.
Many Iowa Donor Network team members are Iowans who work for people they don’t know and haven’t met. They work to save these people’s lives and restore their health.
Our team members work behind the scenes for the more than 106,000 people in the United States in need of a lifesaving donation. And we know that more than 600 of those waiting are patients waiting at transplant centers in Iowa.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we talked a lot about heroes, and I am proud to work with heroes every single day at Iowa Donor Network. It’s not just Iowa Donor Network team members, but also the doctors, transplants surgeons, hospital professionals, nurses, medical examiners, emergency services personnel and many more who make donations possible and save lives. All these people are true heroes. They’re heroes to those who receive these lifesaving donations and they’re heroes to the donor’s families.
When an Iowan is a donor, they save the lives of up to eight people and heal and enhance the lives of more than 300 people through tissue and eye donation. For their family and loved ones, there are no words for the immense pain of losing someone. That’s why Iowa Donor Network supports families in those first moments and over the long term. Iowa Donor Network team members develop incredible bonds with these families, and we continue to support them through their grief long after their loved one’s passing.
In fact, Iowa Donor Network’s team members are such heroes that Iowa Donor Network was designated a Tier 1 organization — the highest possible rating — for efficiency and optimization by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Of 57 organ and tissue donor organizations nationwide, fewer than half (20) have achieved this level of excellence. For us, the designation acknowledges all the tireless work our team members do behind-the-scenes.
We are committed to maintaining our Tier 1 status moving forward. Iowa Donor Network has established itself as a role model for best practices and earns consistently high satisfaction scores from donor families and hospitals. And for the past four years running, it has set records for donation in Iowa.
As I continue to thank Iowa Donor Network team members who help make the gift of life possible, I’m also excited to look ahead. We can do so much more with increased support and resources. Our goal for 2022 is 400 organs for transplant from 150 donors.
It’s the generosity of Iowans that enables us to help save lives through donations. With more resources, we’re better equipped to facilitate donations and continue helping each donor’s family process their grief.
When an Iowan chooses to register as a donor, that Iowan becomes a hero too. They’re offering to give life and restore health to someone else. Someone they don’t know. They are saying “yes” to changing a stranger’s life for the better and impacting them forever.
At Iowa Donor Network, we hear many beautiful stories. True stories where the heroes are your friend, neighbor, family member or colleague. They save lives by giving to others. And that’s something we’ll always be thankful for.
Anyone may register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor, regardless of age or medical history. To join the donor registry or to learn more, visit www.IowaDonorNetwork.org, or call (800) 831-4131.
Thank you again to the donors, donor families, Iowa Donor Network team members, health care professionals and many people who work to save lives.
Suzanne Conrad is CEO of Iowa Donor Network.