Southeast Missouri State University and Mid-America Transplant celebrate a long-standing partnership that both institutions are extremely proud of.
That partnership officially began in 2017 when Southeast's Dr. Linda Heitman saw a gap in education for organ procurement processes. It all started with a grant that helped develop nursing curriculum directly related to organ procurement.
Since then, the partnership has flourished. The curriculum has been successful and continued to grow, and the relationship between the two, says Mid-America, remains the only one of its kind in the entire nation. The partnership has carried over into athletics, grant funding, scholarships, and a new memorial sculpture at Southeast.
Why is Mid-America unique?
Mid-America Transplant is different from other organ donation facilities. Their approach to organ procurement and transplant is patient-centered and different from many other organ procurement organizations around the country. Their process is focused on one goal: saving more lives.
Mid-America Transplant became the very first organ procurement organization (OPO) to offer an on-site recovery facility, opening that facility in 2001. This means that organ donors and recipients can have everything completed in one location, bypassing many of the dangers of organ transportation. The facility offers their own intensive care unit (ICU), operating rooms, labs, and equipment for organ and tissue recovery.
Since then, they've continued to improve on their technology to remain a forerunner in OPO innovation. Some of those improvements include:
- State of the art ICU
- Eye Bank and tissue facilities
- On-demand donor screening
- Donor services
- Clinical Innovation Fund (CIF)
- The Family House
All of that combined has led to a 153% increase in organs transplanted and a 340% increase in tissue donors. Mid-America Transplant has been named a two-time Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient, becoming the first OPO to earn the title in 2015.