Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Awarded for Championing Organ & Tissue Donation

TGLN Award
(From L-R): Kiley Perrier, Organ and Tissue Donation Coordinator, Trillium Gift of Life Network; Dr. Sam Arora, Physician; Chad Johnson, Manager, Critical Care Services and Operational Lead, Trillium Gift of Life Network.

Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN), Ontario’s organ and tissue donation and transplantation agency, has once again presented Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre with an achievement award for its outstanding efforts to integrate organ and tissue donation into quality end-of-life care in 2019/20.

For the third time, our Hospital received the Provincial Benchmark for Conversion Rate Award for exceeding the target of a 63 percent conversion rate set by TGLN, by reaching 67 percent. Conversion Rate is the percentage of actual organ donors from the total number of potentially eligible organ donors identified upon deceased patients’ health records review. Key factors that influence Conversion Rate are the notification of potential organ donors and working with TGLN to promote optimal approach planning.

“Organ and tissue donation is a true gift of life”, said Jean Bartkowiak, President & CEO of the Hospital and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute. “We take great pride in our role to champion organ and tissue donation registration. On behalf of prospective recipients, I thank all those who have registered to be a donor and I encourage anyone who has not yet done so, to visit”

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is one of 30 hospitals to be awarded a 2019/20 TGLN Achievement Award.

“Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has made an outstanding contribution to organ and tissue donation in Ontario and this award is a reflection of that important work,” says Ronnie Gavsie, President and CEO, TGLN. “The collaboration and partnership we have with our hospitals is critical to saving lives. Every Ontarian can play a part by registering to donate at Now is the time to think about what we can do to protect the health of others, and this includes saving more lives through donation.”

Today, more than 1,600 people in Ontario are on the waitlist for a lifesaving organ transplant, and every three days someone will die waiting. Over 90 percent of Ontarians support donation, yet only 35 percent have formally registered their consent for organ and tissue donation.

In 2019/20, a total of 32 lives were saved because of the generosity of 10 organ donors at our Hospital. An additional six tissue donors enhanced the lives of many.

“Organ and tissue donations are life-saving and life-enhancing, and it’s an important tool that helps us provide exceptional patient care for Northwestern Ontario,” said Dr. Peter Voros, Executive Vice President, In-Patient Care Programs at our Hospital. “Today’s award is also a reflection of our Hospital’s dedication to making an impact on organ and tissue donation in our community.”

While some people believe that their age or medical condition prevents them from donating, in actuality, neither age nor health precludes someone from becoming a donor. Every potential donor is assessed at the time of death for medical suitability. Others may believe that doctors won’t work hard to save a life if someone is a registered donor, but in fact, saving a life is always the priority. Donation is only considered after all lifesaving efforts are exhausted, there is no chance of recovery, and the family accepts the diagnosis of death.

One donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation and enhance the lives of up to 75 more through the gift of tissue. By registering consent to donate, you make your family aware of your decision to save lives.

For more information on organ and tissue donation in Ontario, or to learn more about Trillium Gift of Life Network’s Achievement Awards, please contact Kiley Perrier, Organ and Tissue Donation Coordinator, TGLN at