Giving the Gift of Life — TBRHSC Recognized for Achievement in Organ and Tissue Donation

Today, the Trillium Gift of Life Network presented the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) with an achievement award for its dedication to organ and tissue donation in Ontario.

 TBRHSC received the Provincial Benchmark for Conversion Rate Award for meeting the target set by Trillium Gift of Life Network.

Conversion rate is the percentage of actual organ donors from the total number of potentially eligible organ donors identified upon deceased patients’ health records review. Key factors that influence conversion rate are the notification of potential organ donors and working with Trillium Gift of Life Network to promote optimal approach planning.

“Organ and tissue donation truly is the gift of life,” said Jean Bartkowiak, president & CEO of the TBRHSC and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute. “We take great pride in our continued role as champions of organ and tissue donation registration. I thank all those who have registered to be a donor and I encourage anyone who has not yet done so, to visit”

In 2016/2017, 58% per cent of potential donors referred by the TBRHSC went on to give the Gift of Life, which is on par with the provincial target and only 5 percentage points below the provincial average (63%). Organ and tissue donation is a complex process and the conversion rate reflects how well the Trillium Gift of Life Network and TBRHSC collaborate to save lives.

“Ontario has made remarkable advances in organ and tissue donation, resulting in more lives saved than ever before – and this would not have been possible without the active involvement of our hospital partners,” said Ronnie Gavsie, president and CEO, Trillium Gift of Life Network. “Together, our goal is to ensure that all families are provided with the information they need and the opportunity to make a life-saving choice.”

Currently, there are 1,500 people in Ontario waiting for a life-saving organ transplant and, unfortunately, someone dies waiting every three days. Register your consent for organ and tissue donation at and talk to your family about your wishes.

Northern Ontario cities are among the leaders in the province in numbers of registrants per capita. Thunder Bay has 49% of its eligible population registered as organ donors, putting the city in 22nd place provincially out of 170 communities.

Gary Cooper is an organ donor recipient, advocate, and one of TBRHSC’s most dedicated patient family advisors. He’s thankful for everyone who played a role in his journey as an organ recipient and encourages others to consider becoming a donor and giving the gift of life. Learn more and register your consent for organ and tissue donation at

Quick facts:
• Donation and transplant statistics are available by hospital at
• One organ donor can save eight lives and enhance the lives of 75 more through the gift of tissue
• 32 percent of eligible Ontarians are registered donors
• In the 2016/17 fiscal year:
• 354 deceased organ donors gave the gift of life
• 1,256 people in Ontario received a life-saving organ transplant
• 2,200 tissue donors enhanced the lives of thousands of patients

Featured image caption: The Trillium Gift of Life Network once again presented the TBRHSC with an achievement award for its dedication to organ and tissue donation in Ontario. (L to R): Jean Bartkowiak, president & CEO of the TBRHSC and CEO of Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute, Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, executive vice president of Patient Services & Chief Nursing Executive, Karen Johnson, director of Hospital Programs for Trillium Gift of Life Network, Wendy Winslow, manager of Critical Care Services, Kiley Perrier, organ and tissue donation coordinator and Gary Cooper, patient family advisor and organ donor recipient