Skip to main content
UC Davis Transplant Center

UC Davis Transplant Center

UC Davis recognized for organ donation and transplant outcomes

November 29, 2010

UC Davis Health System's commitment to organ donation and transplant outcomes has been recognized with a 2010 silver Medal of Honor and a bronze Transplant Program Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Service Administration.

Accepting the medals on behalf of UC Davis were, from left, Melvin Whitlock, Barbara Prewitt, Susan Edwards, Ginni Jannicelli and Richard Perez.The Medal of Honor went to UC Davis Medical Center for achieving and sustaining national goals for donation, including a donation rate of 75 percent or more of eligible donors. This is the fourth consecutive year that UC Davis has achieved this recognition.

The bronze award -- given to the UC Davis Transplant Program -- recognizes a combination of factors, including post-transplant survival rates, deceased donor transplant rates and waitlist mortality rates.

The medals were presented Nov. 3 at the Sixth National Learning Congress for the Donation and Transplantation Community of Practice held in Grapevine, Texas. UC Davis Medical Center was one of 307 hospitals nationwide to receive the organ-donation recognition. The transplant program was one of 157 in the nation recognized, and it was the only University of California program to receive an individual program award for kidney transplantation.

"We are honored to recognize these public-health stewards who offer such profound service to society," said Howard K. Koh, Health and Human Services' assistant secretary for health. "The awardees have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to quality and leadership that leaves a special legacy."

On hand from UC Davis to receive the medals were Melvin Whitlock, donation coordinator; Barbara Prewitt, clinical nurse; Susan Edwards, clinical nurse; Virginia Jannicelli, donation coordinator; and Richard Perez, professor of surgery.

UC Davis' success in organ donation and transplant outcomes can be attributed to a commitment to patient care at many levels within the medical center, including intensive care units, operating rooms and the transplant center, according to Allan D. Siefkin, chief medical officer for UC Davis Health System.

"Our clinical teams are to be congratulated on this national recognition, as it reflects their hard work and dedication to organ donation and saving lives," said Siefkin.

Siefkin added that the patient families who make donation and transplantation possible are equally important.

"These awards also honor the heroic decisions made by people -- often in a time of great emotional distress -- to consent to donation on behalf of deceased family members. We thank each of them for their strength and willingness to transform loss into life," Siefkin said.

The Human Services Health Resources and Service Administration's Donation and Transplantation Community of Practice brings together donation and transplantation professionals, hospital staff and other professionals involved in the donation process to identify and share best practices.

UC Davis Medical Center is a comprehensive academic medical center where clinical practice, teaching and research converge to advance human health. Centers of excellence include the National Cancer Institute-designated UC Davis Cancer Center; the region's only level 1 pediatric and adult trauma centers; the UC Davis MIND Institute, devoted to finding treatments and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders; and the UC Davis Children's Hospital. The medical center serves a 33-county, 65,000-square-mile area that stretches north to the Oregon border and east to Nevada. It further extends its reach through the award-winning telemedicine program, which gives remote, medically underserved communities throughout California unprecedented access to specialty and subspecialty care. For more information, visit