Thanks to the extreme generosity of our tissue donors and the dedicated work of our tissue team, LifeCenter Northwest is proud to announce we achieved a 10 percent increase in tissue donation from 2019 to 2020. We went from 588 to 647 tissue donors—and from 73,500 to 80,875 estimated grafts—meaning we saved and improved thousands more lives than ever before in 2020.

“Many sleepless nights, blood, sweat and even probably a few tears have gone into making this happen,” said Catherine Hankins, LifeCenter Northwest’s director of Tissue Donation Services. “I appreciate our team’s perseverance so much.”

Despite the many challenges of the pandemic—most notably, several tissue processing centers slowing down or temporarily suspending operations due to COVID-19—LifeCenter Northwest leveraged our diverse tissue processing partnerships and continued to facilitate tissue donations that will be used to replace heart valves, repair ligaments, treat burns, and heal bone/joint injuries.

“I could not be prouder of our tissue team for what they’ve been able to accomplish this year,” added Dominic Adorno, LifeCenter Northwest’s Vice President of Clinical Operations. “Despite facing many different challenges and obstacles, they have continually displayed an unwavering commitment to helping those in need.”

According to Reginald Dawson, Executive Director of Recovery at Community Tissue Services (CTS), CTS is one of the largest tissue banks in the country and the largest not-for-profit provider of skin grafts for severe burn patients. CTS has been a major tissue processing partner for LifeCenter Northwest since 2012 and Dawson noted that it’s an honor to be entrusted with donated tissue from LifeCenter’s donors.

“Our partnership with LifeCenter Northwest allows us to continue to bring life and hope to others through tissue donation across the country and around the world,” Dawson said. “We are so grateful for this continued partnership.”

Another major challenge during the pandemic has been a decrease in eligible donors due to COVID-19. Since the quality and safety of our tissue grafts is of the utmost importance, LifeCenter Northwest—in partnership with SightLife—has been testing all potential donors for COVID-19 while also continuing our existing rigorous donor screening program.

“LifeCenter Northwest has been a valued donation partner for several years,” said SightLife COO Jim McCorkle. “In 2020, we took that partnership to a whole new level of effectiveness—improving how we collaborate and focusing together on better-supporting donation in our local communities. We’ve already seen this improved collaboration lead to enormous impacts, and it sets the stage for even bigger opportunities in the future.”

Congratulations to our tissue team for their remarkable work in 2020, and we look forward to saving and improving even more lives through tissue donation in 2021!