Each month, LifeCenter Northwest selects a LifeSaver Award winner. This award honors and recognizes those who demonstrate a commitment to improving donation outcomes and culture through their actions, time and energy.

We are pleased to present this month’s LifeSaver Award to Leslie Hansen, an RN at Virginia Mason Memorial Hospital in Yakima, Wash.! Leslie was nominated for her amazing service and collaboration. Sometimes, the most vital contributions to donation culture can happen when donation doesn’t even take place—and this was the case with Leslie.

As a nurse in an incredibly busy ICU, Leslie’s plate is always full. However, she still took the time to step up and help a grieving family by seeing them through a recent donation evaluation.

Following the medical donation evaluation, Leslie kindly assisted in planning a compassionate family conversation between the family and our staff. After careful consideration, the family ultimately decided that donation was not right for them and their loved one. However, unbeknownst to our staff, the family was upset following the donation conversation and reached out to Leslie.

Leslie immediately jumped into action, acting as a caring advocate for the family and coordinating appropriate follow-up with LifeCenter staff. Thanks to Leslie, we found out that additional assistance was needed—our staff was able to answer questions, provide clarification and offer support & comfort.

If not for Leslie, this family would have walked away with an unfortunate donation-related experience and they would not have received the support they needed during an extremely difficult time. Instead, the family’s concerns were addressed, their needs were met and LifeCenter/Virginia Mason Memorial are now in a better position to cooperatively support patients, families and donation going forward.

Additionally, Leslie’s willingness to advocate for the family prompted a new learning opportunity for hospital staff, as LifeCenter employees provided detailed information and answered specific questions about the donation process in real-time. 

Lastly, Leslie was genuinely interested in learning more and asked many questions about the donation process. There’s no doubt that Leslie will continue to be an excellent caregiver and a compassionate advocate—we look forward to working with her in the future.