Published on September 28, 2017

Essentia Health honored for organ, tissue and eye donation promotion efforts


Contact: Maureen Talarico
Essentia Health Marketing & Communications
(218) 786-2315

For families looking for meaning when they lose a loved one, organ, tissue and eye donation is an opportunity to share the gift of life.  And Essentia Health' promise to be "Here with You" extends to families coping with the loss of a loved one.  On September 27, Essentia Health was honored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for promoting enrollment in state organ donor registries.

Essentia conducted awareness and registry campaigns to educate staff, patients, visitors, and community members about the critical need for organ, eye, and tissue donors and, by doing so, increased the number of potential donors on the state' donor registry. Hospitals earned points for activities promoting donation between October 2016 and April 2017.  Of the 1,102 hospitals and transplant centers participating in the campaign, St. Mary' Medical Center received platinum recognition and Essentia Health-Duluth received gold recognition.  Essentia Health-Northern Pines in Aurora received silver recognition.

"I have a family member who has received a liver transplant, another who has had a cornea transplant and have had to have this discussion with the death of a loved one so this topic is near and dear to my heart," says Rennae Houle-Burns, who manages the neurotrauma intensive care unit at St. Mary'.  "Having an organ donor designation ahead of time makes it so much easier for a family member to make that decision if and when it ever comes down to it."

This campaign is a special effort to increase the number of people in the country who are registered organ, eye, and tissue donors and ultimately, the number of organs available for transplant. Sixty-two percent of all adults in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota are registered donors and there are more than 3,500 men, women and children awaiting life-saving organ transplants in the Midwest. 

For more information about the program:

To coordinate interviews, photos, and/or video, contact the media relations team.

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