September Guest Blogger Susan Grunow

This month, our featured Community Tissues Services guest blogger is Susan Grunow. Susan began her work in the tissue donation field right out of college; and she’s been devoted to the field ever since. “I wanted to work in the medical field, for a non-profit organization, and do something that supported the community. I wanted to work in an industry where I knew I was helping others and providing a service. Community Tissue Services does all that and more.”

Many people say they want to make a difference in their work life. Susan counts herself as one of those people. “I am passionate about tissue donation because I get to bring donor families something positive during a very negative time in their life. Donor families think of others during an especially difficult event in their own life and their selflessness keeps me devoted to give them the best experience possible. Honoring the gift that donor families give keeps me passionate about tissue donation every day.”

She loves the fact that when someone asks her about her work, she gets to say that she saves lives every day for a living. This isn’t just a job for Susan, but rather a “meaningful and fulfilling career that connects me to the human experience… When people ask me about my job, so many times I end up having conversations about tissue donation and explaining the process and its benefits to others. I don’t mind educating people instead of saying a few short sentences because that is what keeps me passionate about my work, sharing it with others.”

When asked what tissue donation means to her, she replied, “Tissue donation is the ultimate gift you can give in this lifetime, a chance to save the life or enhance the quality of life in another person. Tissue donation brings people together at life’s most difficult time. It’s a way to honor the wishes of a loved one that is no longer physically with us, but know they will never be forgotten in spirit. By having their gifts live on through someone else, a tissue donor shows us (and keeps reminding us) about the best parts of humanity – compassion, love, and altruism.”

Susan is Director of our Dayton Donor Referral Center. The Donor Referral Center is responsible for taking incoming death notification calls from hospitals. They then screen the deceased patient’s medical information to determine if they are eligible for donation. If a patient is able to donate, someone from The Center reaches out to the deceased’s family and approach them offering them the opportunity to donate. If a family authorizes donation, Susan’s group then coordinates with hospitals, funeral homes, the coroner’s offices, eye banks as well as organ recovery agencies to recover the tissue for transplant.

Her work here is important. We’re proud to have her be such an integral part of our family at Community Tissue Services. If you’d like to learn more about us, please visit our website.

Donate Life America Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month by Encouraging Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation

national hispanic 2013Today marks the second day of National Hispanic Heritage Month. Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Donate Life America is encouraging Hispanics throughout the United States to register as organ, eye and tissue donors during this month. Sadly, Hispanics are three times more likely than Caucasians to suffer from end stage renal failure and diabetes. Of the nearly 120,000 people currently on the national organ transplant waiting, more than 20,000 are Hispanic. Lack of available organs means longer waiting periods on transplant lists, years spend on dialysis, and sometimes death. As with other minorities, Hispanics have the best chance for a successful organ transplant if the donor is of the same ethnic background.

Myths regarding donation continue to be major barriers preventing many Hispanics from becoming registered donors and saving lives. Donate Life America encourages people to get the facts about organ, eye and tissue donation. Last year, the lives of nearly 4,000 Hispanics in the United States were saved through organ donation and transplantation. Many thousand more had their sight, health or mobility restored through corneal or tissue transplants. National Hispanic Heritage Month commemorates and celebrates the contributions made by Latin Americans across the United States and provides the perfect opportunity to make a lifesaving difference by registering as a donor.

For more information about organ, eye and tissue donation or to register to be a donor, visit www.donatelife.net or www.donevida.org.