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St. Michael’s awarded for championing organ donation

Toronto, September 11, 2018

By Mary Dickie

Elizabeth Butorac accepted TGLN's Provincial Conversion Rate award
Elizabeth Butorac accepted TGLN's Provincial Conversion Rate award on behalf of the hospital at a ceremony in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute on Sept. 11

For the third year in a row, St. Michael’s Hospital has received the Provincial Conversion Rate award from the Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) to recognize the hospital’s continuing support of organ and tissue donation.

The Provincial Conversion Rate represents the percentage of potential organ donors who go on to become actual donors, and the award is given to hospitals that meet or exceed the TGLN’s target rate of 58%. While the provincial average was 57%, St. Michael’s achieved a conversion rate of 71%.

“St. Michael’s is dedicated to providing patient- and family-centred care. The opportunity to save lives through organ and tissue donation is provided to every eligible family as a part of excellent end-of-life care. This is what makes us a leader in donation in the GTA,” said Elizabeth Butorac, interim program director, Trauma/Neurosurgery and Mobility Programs, who accepted the award on behalf of the hospital at a ceremony in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute on Sept. 11.

Butorac also received Hidden Hero awards, for individual contributions to the hospital’s organ donation program, which will be presented to Eduardo Cruz (clinical assistant, TNICU), Joel Aguirre (spiritual care) and Christine Hyun-Zu Lee (social worker, MSICU),

Each organ donor can save up to eight lives, and enhance the lives of as many as 75 others through tissue donation. In 2017-18 St. Michael’s had 20 organ donors, leading to 64 transplants, as well as 44 tissue donors. Across the province, TGLN and its hospital partners contributed to saving 1,263 lives through organ transplantation.

“We are proud to acknowledge the important contributions of our hospital partners. The success of organ and tissue donation relies on their hard work and dedication,” said Ronnie Gavsie, president and CEO, Trillium Gift of Life Network, Ontario’s organ and tissue donation and transplantation agency. “This award reflects the continued commitment of St. Michael’s Hospital to implement donation best practices and offer families the opportunity to make a life-saving choice.”

In Ontario, more than 1,500 people are currently waiting for an organ transplant, and one dies every three days. While most Canadians support donation, only 33 per cent of Ontarians have formally registered their consent for organ and tissue donation. Some believe that their age prevents them from being a donor, but each potential donor is assessed at the time of death for medical suitability.

For more information about organ donation, go to

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 29 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

St. Michael’s Hospital with Providence Healthcare and St. Joseph’s Health Centre now operate under one corporate entity as of August 1, 2017. United, the three organizations serve patients, residents and clients across the full spectrum of care, spanning primary care, secondary community care, tertiary and quaternary care services to post-acute through rehabilitation, palliative care and long-term care, while investing in world-class research and education.

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