Donor hospitals from across the state, including Hurley Medical Center, were recognized nationally this week for outstanding accomplishments in organ donation. Medals of Honor are granted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The awards were presented October 4, 2012 during the Seventh Annual National Learning Congress on Organ Donation and Transplantation in Grapevine, Texas, near Dallas. Nationwide, 404 hospitals earned recognition.

“This is an amazing accomplishment. The work Hurley does collectively with organ donation is a strong testament to the clinical excellence and outreach education we do day in and day out,” according to Melany Gavulic, RN, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer at Hurley Medical Center.

Hurley’s work with the Gift of Life is helping to close the gap in Michigan between the number of organ donors and the residents in need of a life-saving organ transplant. In 2011, 269 organ donors provided 792 organs to waiting recipients in Michigan. On average, 17 Michigan patients receive an organ transplant each week. One donor can enhance the lives of up to 50 people.

Hurley Medical Center has won multiple U.S. Organ Donation Medals of Honor from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and has also received the Shining Star Award from Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land for exemplary leadership and outstanding work in promoting organ and tissue donation.

Richard Pietroski, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan, the state's organ and tissue recovery organization, added: "This award reflects the collaboration between the Secretary of State, Gift of Life and all of our donation partners. It gives hope to the more than 3,000 people in Michigan and the 115,000 nationwide who need a life-saving organ transplant."

The winning hospitals met national goals defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition, Gift of Life Michigan was recognized along with three other organ recovery organizations nationwide for the greatest improvement in donor registrations.

Nearly 400,000 people joined the Michigan Organ Donor Registry in 2011, compared with 320,000 in 2010, a 25 percent increase.