Thank You, Volunteers!

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A year ago, when UW Organ and Tissue Donation (UW OTD) surveyed volunteers to ask what components they would like to see in an appreciation event, the answer was resounding: They wanted educational opportunities.


So staff put their heads together and came up with a volunteer appreciation event on June 29 that included dinner, tours of the UW OTD offices, and energy-filled education.


About 40 volunteers from as far away as Rhinelander and La Crosse, Wisconsin, came to the event in Madison. UW OTD Executive Director Mike Anderson spoke to attendees about his background, the organization’s goals, and its five pillars:

  • Achieve an effect next-of-kin consent process
  • Achieve high-quality donor family care
  • Maximize the donation
  • Maintain and improve employee engagement
  • Maintain and expand the donor registry

Sara Strell, the organization’s hospital and community development manager, spoke about UW OTD’s new donation support specialists, who travel to hospitals to have consent conversations with families and train nursing staff. Mary Nachreiner, community development specialist, talked about the difference between UW OTD and Donate Life Wisconsin, while Carol Hay, community outreach coordinator, spoke to attendees about how to give an elevator speech about organ donation. UW OTD staff also showed the volunteers some of the new materials they are now using at community events.


“Most of all, we wanted them to know how much we value them,” says Carol. “They contributed more than 900 hours to our mission in 2016, which is just incredible. We could never do what we do without our volunteers.”


Photos from the Volunteer Appreciation Event


OTD volunteer appreciation event Recipients and donor family members discussed ways to grow the donor registry.
Volunteer appreciation

Recipients and donor family members discussed ways to grow the donor registry