Piedmont Atlanta Hospital organ recovery center receives American Association of Critical-Care Nurses award

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Piedmont Atlanta Hospital’s LifeLink Organ Recovery Center, a center dedicated to improving organ donation and organ transplant outcomes through innovation, has been granted the silver-level Beacon Award for Excellence by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. The Beacon Award recognizes medical centers for their excellence in patient care and an excellence in creating a supportive work environment.

“Being recognized as a Beacon unit underscores this team’s ongoing commitment to providing safe, patient-centered and evidence-based care to this very special group of patients and families,” American Association of Critical-Care Nurses president Amanda Bettencourt told Piedmont.

The LifeLink Organ Recovery Center reached silver-award status by meeting several Beacon Award for Excellence criteria, including outcome measurement, appropriate staffing and effective leadership.

“We hope this award elevates our collaborative approach to patient care, so it can serve as a model for the still-small number of organ recovery centers nationwide,” Organ Recovery Center clinical manager Jennifer Taylor said in a news release. “When unit leadership, front-line staff, ancillary departments and outside hospital care teams come together and take a consistent and systemic approach, we save more lives.”

A single Beacon Award for Excellence application generally consists of 50 pages worth of answers to questions within the Beacon Handbook, a rigorous set of requirements for success. The applications are then reviewed by nurses with “strong clinical and/or leadership experience and strong writing skills.”

“Organ donors and their families are heroes,” Clark Kensinger, M.D., transplant surgeon at Piedmont Atlanta and associate medical director for LifeLink of Georgia, said in a news release. “The unparalleled teamwork of LifeLink, the ORC staff, and the many service lines at Piedmont Atlanta allows us to fully honor their gift by ensuring as many people benefit from lifesaving transplantation as possible.”

Piedmont Atlanta Hospital officially opened the LifeLink Organ Recovery Center back in early 2021, a 9,588-square-foot facility that features two operating rooms, six ICU bays, a perfusion lab and two private rooms for donor families.

“The ongoing collaboration between LifeLink of Georgia and Piedmont Atlanta provides focused, compassionate care to donor families and a greater realization of the legacy provided by each donor’s selfless gifts,” LifeLink of Georgia executive director Katie Payne said in a news release. “We are honored to work with donor families to fulfill their loved one’s donation decisions to save more lives. Without them, donation would not be possible.”