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 Dr. Kenneth Starks and Nancy Spencer, RN, both of whom work at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital in Fairbanks, Alaska. Dr. Starks and Nancy both recently demonstrated their deep commitment to saving lives through organ donation.

During a recent case at Fairbanks Memorial, a brain-dead patient was experiencing an extremely high level of creatinine—imperiling the viability of their organs and LifeCenter’s ability to move forward with donation. This patient was a registered donor, and from the outset Dr. Starks and Nancy were both dedicated to ensuring that Fairbanks Memorial and LifeCenter Northwest could honor this individual’s donation decision.

To that end, Dr. Starks graciously agreed to start hemodialysis immediately in order to lower the patient’s creatinine level. This involved him laboriously placing the dialysis catheter multiple times and making time for numerous dialysis consults over the course of several days.

As the sole dialysis RN in the town of Fairbanks, Nancy was also deeply involved with this donation case—supporting the patient every single day, and often staying late to manage the patient’s dialysis and consult with the LifeCenter Northwest team.

“Dr. Starks was impeccable in his service and collaboration,” said Ashley Ring, a Senior Hospital Development Program Manager for LifeCenter Northwest in Alaska. “At every opportunity where things could have been difficult or gone wrong, he came through with graciousness.

“For Nancy, the level of her sacrifice to make dialysis successful on this case cannot be overstated. Without her contributions, donation would not have been possible,” Ashley concluded.

Ultimately, two lives were saved through the recovery of this patient’s liver and lungs. Both Dr. Starks and Nancy played significant roles in saving those lives, and we are proud to honor them with this LifeSaver Award.