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Four decades of lifesaving work: the Organ Center turns 40

Four decades of lifesaving work: the Organ Center turns 40

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Working to help save lives, 24/7

UNOS Organ Center: 0 interruptions to service over four decades

First opened in 1982, the Organ Center celebrated 40 years in continuous operation on July 15, 2022.​

Described as the “beating heart” of UNOS, The F.M. Kirby Foundation Organ Center began as the South-Eastern Organ Procurement Foundation call center. Over the course of 40 years, the Organ Center has helped transplant hospitals and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) reach records in transplant, and save countless lives.

In 2021 alone, the Organ Center:

Received 87,600 calls (average of 240 per day)

Assisted in the offering of 9,685 organs for transplant, most of which were kidneys
Helped arrange the transportation of 2,877 organs and tissue for transplant

Every day organ placement specialists assist OPO’s and transplant hospitals with the allocation of donated organs, arranging the transportation of organs and tissues for transplantation, and serving as a resource to the transplant community regarding organ sharing policies and technical assistance. Specialists work 12-hour shifts to ensure that someone is available every day, night, weekend and holiday to help. Their work has gone on uninterrupted since day one: Organ Center operations have been unaffected by power outages, snow storms, hurricanes and tornadoes.

In 2000 the Organ Center was named the F.M. Kirby Foundation Organ Center, after the foundation awarded UNOS a grant to assist with building the current UNOS headquarters. In celebration of 40 years of continuous service, Justin Kiczek, Executive Director of the F.M. Kirby Foundation provided this statement:

“The F. M. Kirby Foundation has been a proud supporter of UNOS for over two decades. Over $5.4M in grants have supported various research initiatives, programs, and capital projects, including the creation of the F. M. Kirby Foundation Organ Center. Our initial interest in UNOS stemmed from the Foundation’s commitment to cutting-edge innovations in the medical field that lead to increased health for the current populations and future generations. We feel strongly that our partnership with UNOS has ultimately been an investment in improving community health outcomes, furthering medical innovation, and saving individual lives.”

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