Health Sciences Centre Recognized for Achievement in Organ & Tissue Donation

From L-R: Dr. Rhonda Crocker-Ellacot, Executive VP, Patient Services & Chief Nursing Executive, Health Sciences Centre; Karen Johnson, Director, Hospital Programs, Trillium Gift of Life Network; Kiley Perrier, Organ and Tissue Donation Coordinator, Trillium Gift of Life Network; Dr. Bryce Brown, Physician, Intensive Care Unit, Health Sciences Centre; Jean Bartkowiak, President & CEO, Health Sciences Centre, and CEO, Health Research Institute.

Trillium Gift of Life Network has presented our Hospital with an achievement award for its dedication to organ and tissue donation in Ontario.

Our Hospital received the Provincial Benchmark for Conversion Rate Award for meeting or exceeding the target set by Trillium Gift of Life Network. Conversion Rate is the percentage of actual organ donors from the total number of potentially eligible organ donors identified upon deceased health record review. Key factors that influence Conversion Rate are the notification of potential organ donors and working with Trillium Gift of Life Network to promote optimal approach planning.

“Organ and tissue donation is life-saving and life-enhancing”, said Jean Bartkowiak, President & CEO of the Thunder Bay Health Sciences Centre (Hospital) and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute. “This award highlights the dedication of our staff, physicians and volunteers to ensuring that organ and tissue donation continues to be a vital tool to help us provide exceptional patient care for Northwestern Ontario.”

In 2015/2016, 67% per cent of potential donors referred by our Hospital went on to give the gift of life, beating the provincial average by 11 percentage points (56%). Organ and tissue donation is a complex process and the conversion rate reflects how well Trillium Gift of Life Network and our Hospital work together to save lives.

“Every day we work hard to save lives through organ donation and transplantation, but this is only made possible because of our committed hospital partners,” said Ronnie Gavsie, President and CEO, Trillium Gift of Life Network. “Together we want to ensure all families have the information they need and the opportunity to make a life-saving choice.”

There are 1,600 people in Ontario waiting for a life-saving organ transplant and every three days someone dies waiting. Register your consent for organ and tissue donation at and talk to your family about your wishes.

Northern Ontario cities are among the leaders in the province in numbers of registrants per capita. Thunder Bay has 48% of its eligible population registered as organ donors, putting the city in 18th place provincially out of 170 communities.

Quick facts:

  • Donation and transplant statistics are available by hospital:
  • One donor can save eight lives and enhance the lives of 75 more through the gift of tissue.
  • Everyone is a potential organ and tissue donor. To date, the oldest Canadian organ donor was 92 and the oldest tissue donor was 100.

For more information on organ and tissue donation in Ontario, or to learn more about the Trillium Gift of Life Network Awards, please contact Jennifer Long at or 416-619-2327.

Media contact:

Marcello Bernardo
Communications Officer
Communications, Indigenous Affairs, and Engagement
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
(807) 684-6765