Legacy of Life Hawaii honors Tripler Army Medical Center

HONOLULU - Legacy of Life Hawaii (LLH) presented Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) with its highest honor, the Health and Human Services Medal of Honor Award, for organ and tissue donation best practices during an outdoor ceremony at TAMC Sept. 25, 2014.

Dr. Stephen Kula, LLH President and CEO, thanked Col. David Dunning, TAMC Commanding Officer, for his support of the program and commended the hospital for its past efforts in achieving a donation rate of 83% of eligible organ and tissue donors helping to ensure more lives could be saved. 

This percentage exceeds the national goal of 75% conversion of potential donors into actual donors. 

"We applaud Tripler for its efforts in achieving this level of excellence, and for its work in improving the donation process which continues to help save lives," stated Kula. 

Dunning thanked LLH for the partnership and collaboration that makes donation possible and acknowledged the TAMC staff for their significant efforts in achieving the recognition.

"While this is a very sensitive subject, it's also a very sacred one, because we are fulfilling the last wishes of an individual to donate his or her organs so that others can live," Dunning said. 

Nationally there are nearly 125,000 people, including more than 400 in Hawaii, in end-stage organ failure waiting for a life-saving heart, liver, lungs, kidney or pancreas transplant. Millions more are in need of life-restoring tissue. 

Following the ceremony, LLH also invited Dunning to participate in the nation-wide Hospital CEO Rose Dedication.

A single rose with a short message inscribed by Dunning is set for display alongside thousands of roses dedicated by hospital CEOs across the country to be placed on the Donate Life float's Dedication Garden during the upcoming New Year's Day Rose Parade. 

Dunning's message reads, "The Soldiers, civilians and family members of Tripler Army Medical Center salute the heroes who selflessly gave the precious gift of life through organ and tissue donations."

The Donate Life Float showcases the life-saving and healing benefits of organ, tissue and eye donation, and serves as a memorial to donors.

ABOUT LEGACY OF LIFE HAWAI'I:

Legacy of Life Hawai'i is a nonprofit organization and the only organization in Hawai'i federally designated to recover organs and tissue for transplant. 
Its mission is to save and enhance lives through recovering organs and tissue for transplant, encourage organ donation through community outreach and education, and honor and support organ donors and their families. 
Legacy of Life Hawai'i works closely with our island hospitals to cultivate an understanding in our diverse communities that life is worth giving.

ABOUT TRIPLER ARMY MEDICAL CENTER:

TAMC is the only federal tertiary care hospital in the Pacific Basin. 
It supports 264,000 local active duty and retired military personnel, their families, and veteran beneficiaries. 
In addition, the referral population includes 171,000 military personnel, family members, veteran beneficiaries, residents of nine U.S. affiliated jurisdictions (American Samoa, Guam, and the former Trust Territories), and forward-deployed forces in more than 40 countries throughout the Pacific. 
TAMC is also home of the first single-family Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Army Medicine, a state-of-the-art facility and is also the first of its kind on the Island of Oahu. 
Tripler also holds the distinction as the Psychologically Healthy Workplace and Best Practice Award by the American Psychological Association--the first DoD facility to receive that recognition. 

More recently, Tripler underwent a highly successful Joint Commission Survey, receiving only one direct finding; a feat unprecedented for a medical center of its size.
To register as a donor, visit legacyoflifehawaii.org or check "yes" in the organ donor section of your driver's license or state identification card registration.

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