Designated Requestor Program Aids Donor Families

Please contact Susan Allen at (608) 890-9486 or

Donate Life logoCurrently, people in Wisconsin who wish to be an organ donor indicate their wishes by placing an orange donor sticker on their driver's license and discussing their decision with their families. These important steps help families to know each other's donation wishes, and ease the consent process should families ever be faced with that decision.


But what happens when the family hasn't talked about donation and the donor doesn't have the dot on his or her license?


In the UW Health Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) service area, trained professionals, called designated requestors, talk to families about the opportunity to donate. A designated requestor is typically a nurse, social worker or member of the pastoral care/chaplain program at the hospital serving the donor.


In order to be certified as a designated requestor, these individuals must attend a 3.5-hour training session that is taught by the UW Health OPO. To date, OPO team members have trained more than 2,000 individuals throughout the UW Health OPO service area. The training includes information on how to provide families with basic information about the donation process, guidelines for helping families through their grief and information that demonstrates the critical need for organs. Each year all designated requestors must complete a 30 minute online re-certification program.


In the spring of 2010, the OPO will be surveyed by Centers for Medicare/Medicaid (CMS). To determine compliance related to this very important program, surveyors will be reviewing the current designated requestor program at that time, and may ask to speak with a select group of designated requestors.


To prepare for the upcoming survey, designated requestors in the UW Health OPO service area should watch for upcoming e-mails, staff meetings and posters regarding the CMS survey.