After Serving Our Country, Reg Dawson Continues to Have a Positive Impact on The World Around Him

Reg Dawson is in the center.

Reg Dawson is in the center.

Reg Dawson, Executive Director with Community Tissue Services, is a medical military veteran who sees tissue donation as a link to assist others in their time of need.

While in the Army National Guard, Reg witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of war. “Tissue donation has helped save the lives of many of my fellow comrades.  Skin grafts are used for burn patients as they struggle to fight infection, tendons are used for joint restoration, bone is used to fuse spinal injuries. Without donation, many of events I have witnessed would have very poor outcomes.”

After returning to civilian life, Reg returned to his role as a technician at a local hospital. But he wanted more than just a job — he wanted to find a more satisfying career within the medical field. After speaking to a recovery team member with Community Tissue Services, he was amazed by the potential of one donation helping to make a difference for fifty people, and decided this was the career path for him.

When asked what impact his work experience with tissue donation has had on his life,  Reg didn’t hesitate in replying: “Being involved in tissue donation is very motivating for me. Every day I look forward to engaging with staff, hospitals and our community. Together we are able to make someone’s final gift, the gift of tissue donation a reality. When I go home at night I am truly satisfied knowing that I helped make a difference for someone in need.”

Thank you Reg, for your service to our Country, and for your continued service in the valuable work you do within the Tissue Donation field.

Carole Vaught has made promoting Blood, Organ and Tissue Donation her Life Mission

Carole Vaught

Carole Vaught

Carole Vaught goes home each day with satisfaction in her role as a Director of Recovery Partner Program with Community Tissue Services. How could she not when you consider this fact from her: “Every day, in some way or another, I have helped to save or improve someone’s life.”

Her career with Community Tissue Services  didn’t begin in Tissue Donation. In fact, it began in the Blood Center in 1978. Her friend and colleague, Diane Wilson, often spoke to Carole about her own passion for tissue donation and transplant. When a position opened up, Carole transferred. Other than a brief return to the Blood Center, she’s been in the Tissue Bank ever since.

Carole not only enjoys working at the Tissue Bank, but she is also the instructor for the Tissue Banking Certificate Program led by Community Tissue Services in partnership with Sinclair Community College. She has been the instructor since the program’s inception six years ago, when she helped to implement this, then brand new, Certification Program.  The Program lasts for one year, and provides students with an understanding of what a career working in tissue donation means. Over the past six years, she has enjoyed watching her students learn about, and grow to love, the field as much as she does. At the end of the course, students leave with both hands on clinical experience and in-depth knowledge of the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) Standards.  At the completion of the program, along with experience working in the field of tissue banking, students can take the AATB Certified Tissue Bank Specialist exam.  Students can then apply their knowledge by working at Tissue Banks across the country.

For her, tissue donation means “being able to help others by providing lifesaving skin grafts, restoring sight and mobility, or being able to reduce pain and suffering in others who have debilitating conditions.”  She’s thrilled to see the many  changes that are occurring with new technology and treatments developed which help people live a more productive and enjoyable life. This not only keeps her “on her toes” but gives her new reasons to continue to promote organ, tissue and eye donation and transplant.

Promoting donation (blood, organ, tissue, eye) awareness is what Carole has dedicated her life to. This is her life mission. We couldn’t think of a better cause or a better person to help champion it.

Ken Blair, CTS Director-OH, is Privileged to be a Steward of Tissue Donations

Ken Blair and Family

Ken Blair and Family

Ken Blair, CTS Director-OH, has been working for Community Tissue Services (CTS) in his current role for 23 years. He started out working in an orthopedic clinic in Texas in the 80’s, just as modern tissue banking was evolving.  While at this clinic, they occasionally used grafts from local tissue banks.  After 10 years, he left that position and worked weekends at an ER. With the encouragement of local tissue bank, he participated in donor recoveries. In 1990, he joined CTS, and as Ken says, “the rest is history.”

When asked what tissue donation means to him, Ken shared with us that it’s “about individuals who can look beyond their circumstance and see how their gift can benefit/change the lives of others in need.  It is an unconditional gift, given freely without restriction, solely for the benefit of others.”

Ken explains his passion for his work by defining it as a “privilege to be one of the stewards of these gifts” of tissue donation, “and as such the obligation to ensure that each gift has the opportunity to be utilized to its fullest.  I work with individuals with a shared desire to honor the gift, the donor and their family; as well as a commitment to our mission and vision of “Extraordinary people saving and enhancing lives”.”

His work has impacted his life in many ways: It has allowed Ken to participate in an emerging field that holds many answers to the problems of today and the future. It has given him the opportunity to meet and share ideas that will hopefully move the field forward.  Perhaps most importantly, though, in some ways, it prepared his family for the loss of a child and the myriad of emotions and decisions that go with that process. Ultimately, Ken says, “it has given me the opportunity to celebrate my son’s life and the impact of his gifts on the lives of others.”

All of us are proud and honored to call Ken not only our co-worker, but also an important part of our CTS family.  To learn more about CTS, visit online at our website. To learn more about tissue donation, visit our interactive experience here.