October 04, 2010
Intense commitment by hospital staff to increase organ donations at John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital led to gifts of life from more than eight of 10 eligible patient donors in 2009 and inspired the Donor Network of Arizona to recognize North Mountain with its annual Outstanding Trauma Center Award Thursday.
Tim Brown, CEO of Donor Network of Arizona and Stephen Gale, MD
The hospital's amazing 86 percent conversion rate — the percentage of potential donors who became donors — was celebrated at Donor Network's second annual Donation Celebration event at the Arizona Biltmore Resort. The hospital's renewed commitment to escalate organ donations resulted in a 57 percent conversion rate increase from 2008.
At the same event, Donor Network's Outstanding Trauma Surgeon Award was presented to Stephen Gale, MD, in recognition of his knowledge, skill and outstanding work as a member of North Mountain's trauma team.
"As a proud supporter of Donor Network of Arizona, the state's only major organ recovery organization, it's a great honor to be recognized," said Linda Worthy, RN, director of Trauma Services at North Mountain. "But I would ultimately like to recognize our patients and their families — who are the real heroes — who give these wonderful gifts of life."
John C. Lincoln's Trauma Center, one of eight in Arizona designated as Level I by the state, annually cares for more than 3,000 of the region's most critically injured patients. It opened as one of the Valley's first three in 1979, and in the decades since then it has invested heavily in high quality trauma technology and staff training in emergency care.
In 2007, a new, state-of-the-art Emergency and Level I Trauma Center opened at North Mountain with expanded capabilities for delivering trauma care to the most acutely injured in the community, northern Arizona and surrounding states.
"When the doors to the ICU at John C. Lincoln North Mountain burst open, allowing a rush of activity and the associated adrenaline is almost palpable, chances are Dr. Stephen Gale has entered the unit," said one DNA staff member. "A trauma surgeon whose skills are required on a regular basis, Dr. Gale is willing to confer when his skills are required to save lives through organ donation. While his priority is saving the lives of his patients, his willingness to assist when needed makes him a valued partner in the donation community."
Dr. Gale, who has been part of North Mountain's trauma team for two years, received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago in 1996 and completed his residency at University of Arizona in Tucson. Following his residency, he completed his fellowship in traumatology and surgical critical care at the University of Pennsylvania. He practices critical care surgery and general surgery in Phoenix.
"I'm just proud to be part of an award-winning team," said Dr. Gale. "It's an honor to be recognized, but I could not have done it without the multidisciplinary approach of excellent team work that the John C. Lincoln trauma staff demonstrates to save patients' lives."
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