For the third consecutive year, Midwest Transplant Network is ranked among the top organ procurement organizations in the country by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services performance reporting.
The 2023 OPO Annual Public Aggregated Report shows that based on 2021 data — the most recent data currently available — Midwest Transplant Network is rated as Tier 1A and is third in the nation for both donation and transplantation rates.
There are 56 organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the U.S. Each is ranked into one of three tiers based on donation and transplantation rates; each tier ranking has a letter — A to E — from highest to lowest possible performance.
Incorporated in 1973, Midwest Transplant Network is a federally certified, not-for-profit organ procurement organization that facilitates organ, eye and tissue donation in partnership with hospitals and other professional partners to give hope and share life. MTN’s service area is the state of Kansas and western two-thirds of Missouri, with its central office located in Westwood, Kansas, and satellite offices in Wichita, Kansas, and Columbia and Joplin, Missouri. MTN is commemorating 50 years of service in 2023.
“It is our privilege to support donor families and extend their loved one’s legacy,” said Jan Finn, RN, MSN, President & Chief Executive Officer, Midwest Transplant Network.
“We are proud to have achieved a Tier 1A designation among OPOs. It’s a reflection of our generous donor heroes, strong partnerships, dedicated staff members, and a commitment to innovation and improvement.
“Every day, we strive to save and enhance more lives through organ, eye and tissue donation, and we will continue to focus on these important efforts on behalf of donor families, transplant recipients and people on the waitlist,” said Finn.
More than organ procurement
In addition to organ procurement, MTN:
- Recovers tissues for restorative and reconstructive procedures;
- Conducts laboratory testing to support organ transplantation;
- Recovers organs and tissues in a state-of-the-art Donor Care and Surgical Recovery Unit;
- Provides 24/7 response on organ referrals from hospital partners;
- Has staff dedicated to supporting organ, eye and tissue donor families with a variety of resources, including a two-year donor family support program;
- Shares the importance of joining the donor registry through community engagement;
Has 245 hospital partners in its service area and collaborates with five transplant centers in the care, placement and transplantation of donated organs, including Children’s Mercy Kansas City, Research Medical Center, Saint Luke’s Health System, University of Missouri Health Care and University of Kansas Health System.
Improvements to increase kidney transplants
MTN participates in the national End-Stage Renal Disease Treatment Choices Learning Collaborative (ETCLC), which aims to increase the number of deceased kidney transplants, decrease the non-use rate and increase the use of kidneys with higher expected risk of graft failure. MTN has reviewed the way it manages donors and facilitates the recovery process, as well as the complicated allocation system to identify opportunities for improved data collection and analysis to ensure more people are helped through kidney transplantation.
“By taking a closer look at our donor management, recovery and allocation processes to make improvements and changes, MTN can help more people receive kidneys to improve their health and quality of life. We recognize the concern about kidneys that affect OPOs across the country, so MTN consistently looks for ways to make improvements that could save more lives,” said Lori Markham, RN, MSN, CCRN-K, Vice President & Chief Clinical Officer.
2022: A remarkable year for saving lives
Through MTN, the generosity of donor heroes and their families touched the lives of people in need:
- 361 donor heroes shared the gift of life, resulting in 972 lifesaving organ transplants.
- 1,593 cornea and tissue donor heroes saved and enhanced lives.
- MTN’s lab performed 35,145 transplant-supporting tests ranging from blood counts, urinalysis, basic chemistry panels and more.
“We are proud to be among the top OPOs in the country, yet we know that we must continue working diligently and remain open to improvements if we want to see continued success. We will always follow our mission and vision to make a positive impact on behalf of all the people and communities we serve,” said Finn.
Recently, the Senate passed the Securing the U.S. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Act, S. 1668. The legislation will be sent to President Joe Biden to sign.
If signed, the bill will modify how the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funds and manages the OPTN, a public-private network of professionals involved in the U.S. organ donation and transplantation system. Historically, the contract to manage the network has been awarded to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). The bill “expressly authorizes HRSA to award multiple contracts, or cooperative agreements to support the operation of the network and eliminates a cap on the amount of funding available for supporting the network.”
It’s unclear how the legislation might impact Midwest Transplant Network, however, MTN is supportive of efforts to modernize the U.S. transplantation system which are implemented without significant disruption to OPOs and transplant centers while respecting the charitable nature of organ donation and recovery in a way that encourages community participation and support.
Midwest Transplant Network is commemorating its 50th anniversary serving the people of Kansas and western Missouri. More than 7,000 organ donors from Midwest Transplant Network’s donor service area (DSA) have contributed to over 32,000 lifesaving transplants since MTN’s inception in 1972. Additionally, more than 23,000 tissue donors have given gifts in this timeframe, enabling nearly 250,000 life-enhancing tissue transplants for burn victims, cancer survivors, individuals with sports-related injuries and more.
Organ donor heroes from Midwest Transplant Network’s service area saved the lives of 12 people with an organ transplant in 1972. In 2022, that number was 972, illustrating the thoughtfulness of people in Kansas and western Missouri; the strong support from MTN’s hospital and community partners; and MTN’s commitment to continual improvement and saving more lives.