Midwest Transplant Network (MTN) recently cared for the first organ donor hero at its newly opened Donor Care and Surgical Recovery Unit (DCU). The DCU — housed within MTN’s Westwood, Kansas, headquarters — features a seven-bed intensive care unit (ICU) as well as operating rooms designed specifically for both organ and tissue recovery. Research Medical Center, part of HCA Midwest Health — Kansas City’s largest healthcare provider — worked closely with MTN to coordinate the transfer with the gracious approval of the donor’s family.
This milestone marked the start of a new process for hospitals within Kansas and western Missouri, MTN’s service area. Prior to the DCU’s opening, MTN staff members collaborated with hospitals to care for all organ donors and coordinated with transplant centers in the recovery of organs at the donor’s hospital. Now, authorized donor hero patients who meet specific clinical criteria may be eligible for transport to MTN’s DCU. Transferring donors to MTN’s DCU will minimize the burden on hospitals by freeing up ICU beds, operating rooms, ventilators and critical care staff to care for other medically complex patients. Studies from other organ procurement organizations (OPOs) about this model have shown more organs are provided for transplantation due to the efficacy of the OPO donor care units.
“I am incredibly proud of all the hard work, research and planning our staff members and board have done over the past five years to create the DCU,” said MTN President & Chief Executive Officer Jan Finn, RN, MSN. “MTN foresaw a need to alleviate some burdens on much-needed hospital resources long before the coronavirus pandemic even hit. Now, we know we can provide highly specialized care from expertly trained staff members to our donor heroes and potentially more organs for those desperately awaiting lifesaving transplants.”
This shift comes at a time when OPOs like MTN nationwide are focusing efforts to improve donation outcomes. MTN is the 12th OPO in the nation with a donor care unit/donor recovery center that is not based in a hospital.
MTN also implemented state-of-the-art systems with the installation of a computerized axial tomography (CAT) scanner and cloud-based technology with the ability to remotely connect with surgeons across the country.
“This moment marks a new chapter for donation and transplantation in our area that would not have been possible without excellent partnership from Research Medical Center,” said Finn. “They were with us every step of the way. Thanks to them, this donor hero’s legacy lives on through four grateful organ recipients and countless more tissue recipients.”
“We are honored to assist Midwest Transplant Network with families experiencing one of the most vulnerable times in anyone’s life,” said Research Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Olevia M. Pitts, MD, SFHM. “Research Medical Center and Midwest Transplant Network have a rich history of working collaboratively for decades. Organ, eye and tissue donations save and heal many lives each year and we recognize, along with Midwest Transplant Network, the tremendous gift of life given by members of our community.”
About Midwest Transplant Network
Midwest Transplant Network has been connecting lives through organ donation since 1973. As the federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) for Kansas and the western two-thirds of Missouri, Midwest Transplant Network provides services including organ procurement; surgical tissue and eye recovery; laboratory testing and 24-hour rapid response for referrals from hospital partners. Midwest Transplant Network ranks in the top 10% in the country among OPOs, which reflects the organization’s quality, professionalism and excellence in partnerships throughout the region. For more information, visit mwtn.org. For more about Midwest Transplant Network’s DCU, visit mwtn.org/dcu.
About Research Medical Center
Research Medical Center—part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s leading healthcare provider—serves patients by providing quality healthcare services and access to advanced technology. The hospital, located at 2316 East Meyer Boulevard in Kansas City, Missouri, is one of the region’s leading acute care hospitals. The 590-bed facility features a broad range of specialized, state-of-the-art services including a Level I Trauma Center and Level 1 Time Critical Diagnosis services for stroke, brain and spinal cord injury, heart attack and sepsis. Research is home to the region’s first accredited stroke center. Other services include the TIA Clinic, Grossman Burn Center, Liver and Pancreas Institute, Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute, 24-hour Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospitalists and Emergency Room, Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Transplant Institute, fertility specialists, Center for the Relief of Pain, orthopedics, sports medicine and much more. In addition, the 25-acre Research Brookside Campus, located at 6601 Rockhill Road in Kansas City, Mo., includes an outpatient surgery center, many specialty physicians and a comprehensive health and fitness center. Research Medical Center and the Brookside Campus provide 24-hour access to Emergency Services and have many primary care and walk-in care providers who offer preventive and wellness services. For more information about Research Medical Center, visit researchmedicalcenter.com and researchbrookside.com.
About HCA Midwest Health
As the Kansas City area’s leading healthcare provider, HCA Midwest Health consists of seven hospitals and dozens of outpatient centers, clinics, physician practices, surgery centers and an array of other facilities and services to meet area residents’ healthcare needs. HCA Midwest Health is one of the area’s largest private-sector employers, with more than 10,000 employees, and the largest provider of charity and uncompensated care. Each year, we provide nearly $1 million to local charities. Annually, HCA Midwest Health invests capital to enhance and expand patient services and last year paid more than $115 million in taxes, which may go to the improvement of schools, roads, and infrastructure in the communities we serve. HCA Midwest Health facilities include Belton Regional Medical Center, Centerpoint Medical Center, Lafayette Regional Health Center, Lee’s Summit Medical Center, Menorah Medical Center, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Research Medical Center and Research Psychiatric Center. Midwest Physicians, which is part of HCA Midwest Health, is a network of experienced, multi-specialty physicians located throughout the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Currently Midwest Physicians represents 600+ providers. It includes 80+ specialties, providing care in 150+ locations to serve our community. The physicians, licensed professionals and support staff who comprise the HCA Midwest Health team are dedicated to improving healthcare in the Greater Kansas City and outlying areas to create healthier communities that lead to healthier tomorrows. For more information, visit hcamidwest.com.