LifeCenter Northwest is thrilled to share that we’ve taken a major step forward by forming our new Organ Utilization Coordinator (OUC) team. Our new OUC team will be dedicated to the allocation/placement of select organs for transplant and research, as well as all the accompanying logistics. Most importantly, this team will empower us to successfully transplant more organs—and save more lives.

“Having a dedicated resource whose sole function is to maximize organ utilization through organ allocation is extremely valuable,” says Dominic Adorno, LifeCenter’s Vice President of Clinical Operations. “This off-site team can adeptly and efficiently handle all the logistics of placing organs, allowing our on-site clinical staff to focus on donor management and organ recovery.”

We’re excited to welcome Tamiko Panzella, an experienced organ allocation professional, as LifeCenter Northwest’s new organ utilization program manager. Tamiko will lead the OUC team and comes to us after nine years at Donor Network West—the Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) in Northern California and Nevada—where she developed strong relationships with transplant surgeons and programs across the country.

Over the next few months, Tamiko will be developing workflows and best practices, meeting with key stakeholders, and hiring organ utilization coordinators to build the OUC team.

“The main benefit of this team is that it’s a small group of people who’ll be doing allocation every day,” says Tamiko. “We’ll get to know our transplant center partners very well and come to understand their challenges and key transplant needs. This team will build important relationships and subject matter expertise that will help LifeCenter save more lives.”

From the perspective of our transplant center partners, Tamiko and the OUC team will be a reliable and knowledgeable public face for LifeCenter, building trust and instilling confidence as we work together to make critical and timely decisions. The OUC team will also help increase organ utilization by reducing waste and variability.

“This is all about saving more lives while honoring our donors and their families,” notes Candy Wells, LifeCenter Northwest’s Director of Organ Utilization. “As we grow, we need to evolve and look at how we can do things differently. We have an obligation to do our work as efficiently as possible as good stewards of the beautiful gift of donation. We can’t control lives lost, but we can move donation forward so more lives will be saved.”